Schools must be rated at least ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors from now on.
After a consultation with more than 5,000 teachers, headteachers, parents and governors across the country, there will no longer be a ‘satisfactory’ grade, but instead schools would be graded as ‘requires improvement’, and schools already judged as ‘inadequate’ and given notice to improve will be treated as schools with ‘serious weaknesses’.
Schools that currently have satisfactory reports will be given a clean slate by Ofsted and will be re-inspected by the end of this academic year.
Ofsted said the satisfactory grade should never have been more than a ‘staging post’ on a school’s journey towards providing a good or outstanding education for all children.
The changes also mean that from now on for a school to be judged as outstanding it must demonstrate outstanding teaching, and all inspections would be carried out at short notice, with a telephone call the afternoon before the inspectors visit.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “I believe all children, regardless of where they live or what their parents can afford for them, have the right to a good education and that belief is at the heart of our work at Ofsted. I make no apology for introducing an inspection framework that raises expectations and focuses on the importance of teaching.”