Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. In other words they are the government agency tasked with making sure schools and other child services are meeting high standards. And – if not – finding ways to help schools improve and provide the best education possible for children and young people.
In the 2014/15 academic year Ofsted made 4,525 inspections of mainstream primary and secondary schools up and down the country – this equates to just under a quarter.
In the annual report produced by Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), states that 85% of all primary schools are graded either good or outstanding, while secondary schools lag behind at only 74%.
In fact 700,000 kids in secondary education are attending schools that are less than good. And 20% of those are in schools that are deemed to be failing.
Plus if you live in the North of England or the Midlands, your chances of getting into a good or outstanding school really start to drop.
Too many secondary schools have nurtured a culture of low pupil expectations. And they frustratingly tolerate poor behaviour and disruption in class. Unsurprisingly, these schools generally perform significantly worse in their GCSEs results.
Believing that children living in areas with inadequate schools are pre-destined to behave worse and achieve less than their peers in other parts of England after the age of 11 is a sad state of affairs – and something needs to clearly change.
The government’s plans to academise all schools in England are not driving up standards enough – they often have an initial surge of revitalisation, but that surge too often starts to falter. In fact looking at the worst performing Local Authorities across the country they are simply shifting blame. We need local politicians and school leaders to really challenge the status quo and make a genuine difference.
If you want to find out how your local secondary schools performed in their last Ofsted inspection, check them out at findaschool.