Satisfactory just isn't good enough!

Changes to the OFSTED system for schools come into effect from September, but what does this mean and will it make a real and lasting difference?
From September there is a new revised plan for OFSTED inspections in schools. The key changes will be that Head Teachers will be given virtually no notice, with a call the afternoon before the inspection. The other major change will be the removal of the ‘satisfactory’ grading which will be replaced with ‘requires improvement’

Any school falling into the ‘requires improvement’ category will be reinspected within two years and, if at the third inspection, the school hasn’t risen to ‘good’ it will be deemed inadequate and placed into special measures.

Whilst many are in uproar about the changes, a short-notice inspection is more likely to give a clearer snapshot of the school as it is on a day-to-day basis, rather than a view which has been prepared specifically for OFSTED. The hope would be that schools don’t need to prepare as they are operating at a good level all year round, not just during the OFSTED show!

For a long time now, ‘satisfactory’ has been deemed by many to be an acceptable grade to aim for. However, has satisfactory ever been good enough? Do our children deserve satisfactory schooling or are they entitled to a good education?

I will be interested to see how the inspection framework changes in light of these new proposals and to see what exactly a school needs to do to achieve ‘good’. Hopefully this will support schools to achieve more for our children and won’t result in a moving the goal posts exercise which means that either no-one can achieve good, or worse still, that the requirements to achieve ‘good’ are lowered.

As always, i’d love to hear your thoughts on this one...
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