Ofsted’s decision to retain the four-grade rating system for school inspections - outstanding down to inadequate - is ‘one of the greatest abdications of responsibility by Ofsted in recent times’, writes Ross Morrison McGill of @Teacher Toolkit.
Ofsted claims parents want the current grading system. Yet Ofsted’s annual parents’ survey revealed that one-third of parents do not believe Ofsted’s judgement reliably reflects a school’s quality. And Ofsted’s consultation with parents ‘never directly asked about the four-point grading system’. Instead it relied on a ‘range of [other] evidence’.
Despite Ofsted admitting that the top grade of outstanding has negative consequences, Ofsted will keep the rating.
Ofsted knows many outstanding schools haven’t been inspected for over a decade (and under other inspection standards). Such schools are now exempt from future inspections. Ofsted relies on noticing a decline in standards through falling exam results.
At the same time, Ofsted admits there’s a clear relationship between a school’s Progress 8 scores and inspection grades. (But Progress 8 discriminates against schools which educate a large number of previously low attaining pupils and/or which work in the most difficult circumstances. The current grading system actively discourages teachers from working in or leading such schools.)
All schools can improve, even those currently judged outstanding. Most schools do an ‘incredible job’. The four-point grading system should be replaced by two: effective/not effective.
NOTE: The above is a summary of the arguments made by @TeacherToolkit. The full article is worth reading. The comments in brackets are mine.