Inspectors must decide if exceptional pupil movement is 'lawful'
Inspectors must discuss concerns about potential ‘off-rolling’ with school leaders during an inspection, Ofsted says.
The inspection data summary report used by inspectors will show ‘where there are exceptional levels of pupil movement between Years 10 and 11’. Inspectors need to decide whether these were ‘lawful’ removals done in best interests of the pupil or ‘unlawful’ where the school's interest was put first.
Unlawful off-rolling is 'gaming'
Ofsted's definition of off-rolling makes it clear that permanent exclusion following the proper procedure is not off-rolling. Neither are house moves or parents deciding (without coercion) to home-educate their child.
Unlawful off-rolling is ‘removing a pupil from the school roll without a formal, permanent exclusion or by encouraging a parent to remove their child from the school roll, when the removal is primarily in the interests of the school…Off-rolling in these circumstances is a form of “gaming”.’
Doesn’t appear exceptional movement alone will trigger an inspection
It doesn’t appear that data showing exceptional levels of pupil movement between Years 10 and 11 will automatically trigger an inspection. This likely means that outstanding schools where there is exceptional movement will remain exempt from inspection unless exam results fall or substantial number of parents complain or a whistleblower comes forward. Similarly, schools rated good would wait until a routine short inspection If exam results improve or remain stable and no parents complain then it's likely some schools will still be able to put the school's interest before pupils'.
The only way to eradicate off-rolling is for exceptional levels of movement between Years 10 and 11 to trigger an inspection. It’s not clear this will happen.