Ofsted: outstanding rating creates ‘false impression’ about quality of schools

The TES is reporting that a leading head has claimed the ‘outstanding’ grade used by Ofsted creates a “false impression” about the quality of schools and carries too much influence in the education system…

Gary Phillips, of Lilian Baylis Technology School in south London, which was rated outstanding across the board in its most recent inspection two years ago, said that the judgment carries too much weight and suggested it was time for an overhaul of inspection grades.

Mr Phillips also argued that it was time to consider removing the “inadequate” rating due to the consequences of schools receiving the judgment. Instead, schools could be judged “not good enough”, he suggested at a conference on inspection today…

“Put simply, the outstanding judgment creates a false impression,” he said. “Perhaps more worryingly, it carries far too much weight in the education system. It’s used for the designation of national leaders of education, teaching schools and it has a huge influence on academy sponsors being identified…

More at: Ofsted: outstanding rating creates ‘false impression’ about quality of schools


Interesting observations – is the “outstanding” rating over-rated in the system and often likely to be misleading? And likewise, is the “inadequate” rating too damaging for schools? How would you change things and why? 


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Categories: Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Couldn’t agree more with this. Ofsted rating is misleading and it needed an “outstanding” HT to say this. Well done him!

  2. Mktadvice4schls

    SchoolsImprove outstanding = complacency at top end & pressure at bottom. No one is perfect & vast majority of teachers & schls do good job

  3. AlfredoNokez1

    SchoolsImprove ‘Outstanding’ should be dropped & replaced by ‘Excellent’. All schools can be ‘excellent’, but cannot all be ‘Outstanding’.

  4. VictoriaJaquiss

    SchoolsImprove There isn’t an Ofsted category that doesn’t damage. It’s a pseudo science that should never have seen the light of day.

  5. ReedEdNorth

    SchoolsImprove more regular inspections of Outstanding schools required? Must support them to stay there – keep foot on the gas! #ukedchat

  6. paulsnorman

    SchoolsImprove been saying for years that the focus should be about Excellence not being ‘outstanding’. Like the satisfactory thing again

  7. paulsnorman

    SchoolsImprove politicians should not be allowed to redefine our language to suit their agenda. Pick the right word and use it!!

  8. colinsparkbridg

    SchoolsImprove All one-word labels – good, outstanding- are equally misleading. What’s needed is a description of strengths and weaknesses

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