When outstanding isn’t good enough

Rated as Ofsted outstanding… is it actually a put off?

As it stands, there are four grades awarded to schools by Ofsted; outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate. Figures reveal that just over 20% of schools are rated outstanding. But should this label system continue?

It’s been warned that being awarded as ‘outstanding’ can actually be holding Head Teachers back. It seems that they’re deciding to play it safe and not make any worthwhile changes at their schools or modify their teaching methods in any way if an Ofsted inspection is due.

Why would this be? Well the fear is that the only way is down.

Head teachers are particularly concerned that they will lose the ‘outstanding’ stamp should they do anything different to what got them the award in the first place. This is an immense pressure to place on a newly recruited Head. At an education conference recently it was warned that recruiting a new Head Teacher to be placed at a school rated as outstanding can be harder to place than in any other school.

There are talks of eliminating the ‘outstanding’. Meaning once schools reach good, they are left to their own devices, which is how many people view that it should be.

However the new chair of Ofsted has told governors he wishes for more inspections to be carried out on these schools. It’s revealed they ‘don’t want to take the foot off the pedal’.

What are your thoughts?