Headlines: January 17th, 2012

Schools that are content to muddle along without trying hard to improve will be targeted by Ofsted as a result of changes in assessment processes.

The current processes classify schools with flat-lining poor results as satisfactory. It is argued that this perpetuates a complacent attitude that says things are OK just as they are. It is claimed that abolishing that label and replacing it with a new one: ‘requires improvement’ will drive improvement.

The effect of the change will be that schools classified as ‘require improvement’ will be re-inspected within 12-18 months, instead of the 3 year break between inspections they’ve had in recent years. And the bar of expectation is getting higher too. Schools can only be found to ‘require improvement’ twice. At their third inspection they must be rated at least ‘good’ or they will be placed in special measures.

Prime Minister David Cameron said; “Making this change of attitude felt on the ground, in classrooms, will be a massive team effort. That’s why this afternoon I’m holding a meeting in Downing Street with some of the country’s most inspiring head-teachers, as well as Sir Michael Wilshaw, the new head of Ofsted. In his previous job as head of Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, Sir Michael said ‘no’ to complacency and failure, and turned that school around. Now he’s going to help us drive the nationwide transformation of our schools.