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The end of 'outstanding' grade?


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I was just reading the transcript of the whole interview with the Education Select Committee (here if you have time on your hands!)



I didn't get the impression that this was high on her agenda just something that she was prepared to discuss, but I didn't feel it was anywhere at the top of her priorities list.

On a personal level, I'd be happy for there not to be an outstanding grade, mainly because I'm not convinced that you can really always tell in the few hours you are in a setting on a single day, but I'm interested to hear what other members think.


During her interview, Amanda Spielman was asked about her lack of teaching experience or social care experience..that's early on. She does get on to early years around Q80. She admits to not knowing a great deal about early years and it was high on her priority list to learn and understand more once in post.

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I think outstanding grades do a lot of damage. Schools in particular sacrifice the well being of their pupils, particularly those with additional needs in order to achieve and maintain the holy grail of an outstanding grade.

Our local 'outstanding' school has a clear policy of hoofing children with additional needs out asap. They are very reluctant to make even small adjustments or offer TA support but they always seem to be finding the money to make improvements to facilities and resources. The outstanding nature of that school is very much a matter of opinion.


Motivated and affluent parents will move into areas around outstanding schools, skewing the pupil population in other schools as a result.

I worked in two settings when they were inspected very close together. Practice was awful in one but was changed dramatically to impress the inspector on the day. The other one carried on as normal. Both received the same grade. I honestly don't think Ofsted see enough of what really happens to judge anywhere to be outstanding. It is too easy to put on a show on the day.

I strongly believe that Ofsted should be looking at whether the place they are inspecting is fulfilling their role or not. If they are not, this is highlighted and changes are made as a result.


If parents ask me about Ofsted grades, I recommend that they view satisfactory, good and outstanding as the same and look very carefully at anywhere that has been judged inadequate.

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This is a interesting discussion. I applaud any setting that has achieved an outstanding grade, and certainly wouldn't want to devalue their achievements. However I am sceptical that all provisions have a level playing field when it comes to grades given.

There are many factors to take in to consideration.

Childrens starting points and progress made, whether high or low.

The areas within the country.

Additional support within an area.

The actual facilities used to provide childcare and education.

What I do feel is the majority of early years settings are trying to always do their best for the children in their care in often difficult circumstances and this is not always valued or truly understood.


Personally I would prefer to be inspected more regularly by our own LA, and Ofsted inspect LA's on their support and performance.

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