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Schools lose outstanding ratings

30/07/2013 Joanna
Many schools previously rated as outstanding have been downgraded following changes to the inspection regime placing greater weight on the work of staff in teacher jobs.

Prior to the start of this academic year, it was possible for schools to be given an outstanding rating by Ofsted even if inspectors did not consider teaching and learning to be up to this standard.

However, as part of a wider range of changes implemented in September 2012, schools can now only achieve the highest rating if the watchdog deems teaching and learning there to be outstanding.

New figures have now been released showing that, of 155 schools previously evaluated as outstanding that have been inspected again since September, 111 have not managed to retain their outstanding rating.

Of these, 91 were still considered to be good by the education watchdog, while 18 were told they were in need of improvement and two were graded as inadequate.

A spokeswoman for Ofsted commented: "Teaching is, of course, central to the life of every school.

"That is why 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."

She said this does not mean every lesson has to be outstanding, but schools must exhibit over time that outstanding teaching is helping their pupils to progress.

The spokeswoman added that factors other than quality of teaching had played a part in the downgrading of many of the schools in question.

One in five of all schools were rated as outstanding up to August last year, but of these, one in four did not have the top rating for teaching and learning.

However, National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower warned that continually changing the requirements for being rated good or outstanding would make it harder for schools to meet the targets set by Ofsted and the government.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801618350-ADNFCR
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