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Changes to Ofsted gradings may be on the horizon


FSFRebecca
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There seems to be 'word on the street' that Ofsted are considering moving away from their current judgement descriptors (Outstanding, Good, Requires improvement and Inadequate). This has been reported in Schools Weeks magazine: Could Ofsted be about to wipe the grading slate clean?

Here at FSF HQ we're interested to know your thoughts on this - things that happen in schools tend, in time, to filter down to early years inspections. What is your view? How would it affect you and your setting?

Personally, I think it would be a good thing - either you are meeting the statutory requirements or you are not. I think that parents have their own view of what they want for their children and one setting that is currently judged 'Outstanding' might not be the right place for their child, whereas a nearby one judged to be 'Good' might be better for them. There is a lot of pressure to 'maintain' Outstanding and I have spoken to several managers who say that find this pressure extremely challenging.

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We were graded as Outstanding in all areas this past week and were very pleased to get it, especially as we were only aiming to maintain the Good from the last inspection, under the previous inspection framework. I still think inspections are very subjective and down to how well everything goes on the day. Although I will say that all our paperwork was up to date (advantage of being inspected straight after Easter holidays spent on getting everything in order). So I don't mind a grading that says you are meeting statutory requirements. It might alleviate some of the pressure of Ofsted.

My daughters both teach in high schools and the pressure of Ofsted from their Senior leaders is immense. Mocksteds, marking scrutinies, meeting targets all the time. 

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1 minute ago, playgroup1 said:

We were graded as Outstanding in all areas this past week and were very pleased to get it, especially as we were only aiming to maintain the Good from the last inspection, under the previous inspection framework. I still think inspections are very subjective and down to how well everything goes on the day. Although I will say that all our paperwork was up to date (advantage of being inspected straight after Easter holidays spent on getting everything in order). So I don't mind a grading that says you are meeting statutory requirements. It might alleviate some of the pressure of Ofsted.

My daughters both teach in high schools and the pressure of Ofsted from their Senior leaders is immense. Mocksteds, marking scrutinies, meeting targets all the time. 

Wow! Congratulations - you must be thrilled to bits!! :D:D:D

Regarding your daughters - "Mocksteds, marking scrutinies" Sean Harford would go mad! He spends half his time telling schools not to have Mocksteds!

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I agree, it would take so much pressure and anxiety out of it, our last  inspection was good with outstanding something (well-being I think it is) with a couple little minors and had it been a driving test we’d still have passed, a day before or  after or a different inspector may well have given the outstanding. I even read reports with the same recommendations yet different grades. I also read there’s possibility of schools having no notice inspections which I guess would mean us going back there too (having only just caught up with the half day notice).

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9 minutes ago, Mouseketeer said:

I agree, it would take so much pressure and anxiety out of it, our last  inspection was good with outstanding something (well-being I think it is) with a couple little minors and had it been a driving test we’d still have passed, a day before or  after or a different inspector may well have given the outstanding. I even read reports with the same recommendations yet different grades. I also read there’s possibility of schools having no notice inspections which I guess would mean us going back there too (having only just caught up with the half day notice).

I agree - I'd rather have no notice and pass/fail judgements too!

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i think inspections can be the luck of the draw too.  We were inspected last June and got a "very strong" good, which at the end of the day, is still just ""good".  The inspection report said that we were not yet outstanding because not all staff understand how they can improve their teaching (this was aimed at me and target setting).  But if I developed performance management to make this area more rigorous, another inspector would say we were not yet outstanding because of something else.  Even though they work to exact grade descriptors, it is still an inspector's personal opinion.  I don't know how much notice parents take of the grades.  It is probably important to some, while others go on their own judgement when they visit.

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23 hours ago, playgroup1 said:

We were graded as Outstanding in all areas this past week and were very pleased to get it, especially as we were only aiming to maintain the Good from the last inspection, under the previous inspection framework. I still think inspections are very subjective and down to how well everything goes on the day. Although I will say that all our paperwork was up to date (advantage of being inspected straight after Easter holidays spent on getting everything in order). So I don't mind a grading that says you are meeting statutory requirements. It might alleviate some of the pressure of Ofsted.

My daughters both teach in high schools and the pressure of Ofsted from their Senior leaders is immense. Mocksteds, marking scrutinies, meeting targets all the time. 

Huge congrats!:)

I would welcome the new structure, I think, as others have said you are either meeting statuary regs or you are not......

At our last inspection we did not get outstanding because.......'not enough children's work was displayed on walls of room' - several of my parents were really upset about that - me, no not so much......I was perfectly happy to maintain our 'Good' grading:)

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As long as they don't replace it with another form of torture I don't mind.    It will be for Ofsted's benefit not ours, that's for sure.    I assume they have reflected blah blah blah, and found they don't need to grade it the way they have been, I do hope they share that reflection with us.     I suppose I would like to see a pass or fail, but feel that would be too simplistic for them.   It feels like they will be re-inventing the wheel, as they do every few years.

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