Four in five outstanding schools are downgraded in crackdown on low standards, Ofsted reveals 

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  • Some of the schools believed to be excellent were not inspected for 15 years
  • Ofsted was barred from re-inspecting schools with outstanding ratings until 2020
  • The chief inspector said that the decline in standards shows the effect of removing scrutiny
  • Those downgraded include London schools Pimlico Academy and Holland Park

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Four-fifths of ‘excellent’ schools inspected last year were downgraded and one in 20 are now rated ‘inadequate’, Ostade has revealed.

Schools watchdog has recently flagged hundreds of schools taking action on unhygienic standards.

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Some of the supposedly excellent schools had not been inspected for 15 years, potentially leading to complacency.

Ofsted launched its task force when it regained its powers to inspect outstanding-rated schools in 2020.

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Previously, it was legally barred from doing so because the government wanted to relieve top schools of the burden of oversight.

Ofsted said yesterday that the dramatic drop in standards showed that ‘removing a school from scrutiny doesn’t make it any better’.

Among those downgraded was Holland Park (pictured) in Kensington, west London. The state school known as ‘The Socialist Eton’ is now rated ‘inadequate’.

A total of 385 ‘outstanding’ schools were re-inspected in 2021/22, with 308 – 80 per cent – ​​downgraded.

Most were ‘good’, but 17 per cent received ‘needs improvement’ and 4 per cent were ‘insufficient’.

When selecting schools for inspection, Ofsted prioritized those schools which had gone the longest without inspection. For some it was 15 years although the average was 13 years. Many may have experienced significant change, including new headmasters or governors.

Ofsted chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, said: ‘Regular inspections give parents confidence in the quality of their child’s school.

Ofsted's chief inspector, Amanda Spielman (pictured), said the dramatic drop in standards showed that 'removing the school from scrutiny doesn't make it any better'

Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman (pictured), said the dramatic drop in standards showed that ‘removing the school from scrutiny doesn’t make it any better’

‘Discounting schools of excellence deprives parents of updated information. This left many schools without the constructive challenge that regular oversight provides.

‘Exemption was a policy founded on the hope that high standards, once achieved, would never fall, and that freedom from inspection could take them to a higher level.

‘These results suggest that removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better.’

Among those downgraded were Pimlico Academy in south London, where students walked out last year in protest of ‘discriminatory’ uniform rules, and Holland Park in Kensington, west London. The state school known as ‘The Socialist Eton’ is now rated ‘inadequate’.

Top grammar schools in Kingston, south-west London, were also downgraded to ‘good’, including Tiffin Boy.

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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