New Ofsted framework removes ‘satisfactory’

A new report published by Ofsted today reveals that ‘good’ will be the minimum requirement in inspected schools from now on.

The previous ‘satisfactory’ rating’ has been abolished, and instead such schools will be deemed as ‘requires improvement.’ The former five-point scale has been reduced to four – Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, and Inadequate.

The Head of the Inspectorate, Sir Michael Wilshaw, states in his introduction to the report that

Too many children go through their entire school careers in ‘satisfactory’ schools. From September, only ‘good’ will be good enough. The changes we are introducing will help schools that don’t meet this standard to improve.
The ‘satisfactory’ grade will cease to exist and will be replaced by ‘requires improvement’. We will inspect those schools that ‘require improvement’ more frequently and we will support and monitor them to help them to improve.

Schools adjudged as needing improvement will be re-inspected within a maximum of two years, and will be expected to become ‘good’ within a defined timescale.

Read more on Ofsted’s website here, and further details in the Ofsted document here.

Ofsted want your opinion

Ofsted now have a ‘Parent View’ page:

“Parent View gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your child’s school.

Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, from the quality of teaching, to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. We will use the information you provide when making decisions about which schools to inspect, and when.

By sharing your views, you’ll be helping your child’s school to improve. You will also be able to see what other parents have said about your child’s school. Or, if you want to, view the results for any school in England”.

Please note that Parent View does not currently include independent schools.

Ofsted report damns one in five schools as ‘inadequate for music’

A new report from Ofsted declares that a fifth of schools is providing an inadequate music education.

A damning report, as indicated yesterday in Music Teacher magazine,  also states that there is not enough emphasis on practical music-making in sessions, and that there is a ‘scarcity of good vocal work in secondary schools.’

Amidst a litany of depressing statements, detailing the failures and short-comings Inspectors found in their assesment of music in schools across the country,  one terse fact rings out:

Too often, inspectors simply did not see enough music in music lessons.

Read the report in full here.

New Ofsted report into school governance published

Published on May 18 on the Ofsted website, a report into what makes effective school governance.

A short summary of the report, published separately, highlights the following:

Inspection evidence tells us that there is a relationship between effective governance, the quality of leadership and management, and the quality of provision and pupil achievement…there is potential in many schools for governors to make an even greater contribution than they do at present to improving outcomes.

The Chief Inspector’s Annual Report for 2009-10 declares that

Governors are most effective when they are fully involved in the school’s self-evaluation and use the knowledge gained to challenge the school, understand its strengths and weaknesses and contribute to shaping its strategic direction.

The summary report also lists the fourteen key characteristics of effective governing bodies.

Clearly, the role is critical in promoting a school’s success. Section 53 of the full report (p.19) lists questions to help governors reflect on their work.

You can read the full report here, or the summary report here (both PDF).