Friday, 26 July 2013


Not necessarily for long

'Oftsted' is England's feared and rigid school inspection system. From its position at the top of the state-educational muckheap it is immune to all criticism. Except of course its own.

Apparently its top category for rating schools – 'outstanding' – has not been properly awarded in its latest super-duper whizz-ding system.. Upon reinspection over a hundred schools had had this rating withdrawn, and are now merely 'good' which is not, I gather, considered good enough.

What will this be doing to some people's house prices! How mortifying, to buyers, if one has just exchanged contracts! Is there work here for m'learned friends?

Schools awarded 'outstanding' most recently can rest secure upon their laurels, until something changes.

By the way, the word 'outstanding' in the title of this posting refers to the name chose for the top the rating category, not of course to Ofsted itself for which 'egregious' might be a better choice.


Harrison, A., (2013) Dozens of 'outstanding' schools downgraded, BBC News, 26 July


  1. Two quotes from the BBC piece:

    "there should be a close link between Ofsted's overall effectiveness judgement and the quality of teaching.

    "It makes sense that outstanding schools should have outstanding teaching - parents expect that."

    Given that schools need an inspectorate (the National Union of Teachers is campaigning for Ofsted to be got rid of, for instance) then it seems late in the day but welcome that the Chief Inspector has decided to put teaching and learning (provided anyone knows what these are) at the top of the inspection priorities.

    It's also somewhat surprising to read that of about 4,400 schools rated previously as "Outstanding", some 1,100 did so without being 'outstanding' at teaching!

    So it looks as if the 100 already downgraded may yet be followed by a fair few more.

  2. Oh dear, Norman, would it not be pleasant to live in a society the institutions of which were respected, even liked, instead of one in which the default position is so generally suspicion, derision or even fear.

    Ah. Trumpton, Camberwick Green, mocked in your time, where are you now? Is there nowhere honey still for tea?

    Not I suspect in any institution set up by recent governments, perhaps especially those acronymised to begin with the ghastly Of-suffix.

    What about the banks? The wider corporate sector? And I wonder about how much of the voluntary is now infected by the new order?