Lower Ofsted ratings for private alternative provision

Tes is reporting that independent providers of alternative provision are less likely to have a positive inspection rating than their state counterparts, according to information published today.

Information on the quality and quantity of  independent alternative provision was pulled together through a crowd-sourcing exercise and presented in a joint blog by FFT Education Lab and The Difference, a training programme for school leaders.

Figures show that less than three quarters (71 percent) of independent alternative providers ( AP) that have had an Ofsted inspection have a good or better inspection rating, compared to 89 percent of state alternative provision.

Of the 117 independent alternative providers that remain open, 110 are inspected by Ofsted, though 13 have yet to be inspected. The other seven are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), though to date just two have had a full inspection, “both of which were positive”, the blog notes. Unlike Ofsted inspections, ISI inspections do not result in an overall rating.

The availability of independent alternative provision also seems to vary widely across the country: regionally, London and the West Midlands have by far the highest with 31 each, whilst the south west and the north east have just four each.

One of the unknowns in the national scene are the number of AP providers that are providing services but are not registered because they fall below the necessary threshold.

Under Department for Education statutory guidance, an AP provider should be registered as an independent school if it provides full time education to five or more full time pupils of compulsory school age or one pupil who is looked after or has special educational needs statement.  

Read the full article Lower Ofsted ratings for private alternative provision

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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