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Ofsted boss outlines rating changes

As many as 1,000 outstanding schools could find their status under review because their teaching is not of the highest grade, Sir Michael Wilshaw has announced.

The new Ofsted chief inspector also acknowledged that plans to scrap the satisfactory rating will leave more schools in special measures, and he suggested that top headteachers should be "conscripted" to join Ofsted on inspections.

In his first keynote speech, Sir Michael said that teaching is "central to the life of a school" and should be a key factor in deciding if a school is outstanding.

"We need clear and demanding criteria for a school to be judged 'good' or 'outstanding', he said. "A good school should have at least good teaching, and an outstanding school should have outstanding teaching."

Concerns have previously been raised that a number of schools have been judged as outstanding by inspectors, despite not receiving this rating for their teaching.

Sir Michael told a group of headteachers at an event in central London that one in five outstanding primaries, and half of outstanding secondary schools, around 1,000 schools in total, did not have outstanding teaching at their last inspection: "Teaching is central to the life of the school, it's the most important thing teachers do."

Union leaders reacted angrily to Sir Michael's proposals on school inspection.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "This is yet more aggressive rhetoric from a chief inspector who has obviously warmed to the task of attacking the teaching profession from any angle.

"The latest proposals about unpicking an 'outstanding' result for a school from the standard of teaching leaves Sir Michael Wilshaw's proposals appearing to be more concerned with facilitating the Government's policy of converting as many schools as possible to academy status than genuinely aiding school improvement.

"While no-one would disagree that schools need to be performing to the best of their ability, Sir Michael Wilshaw has to accept that the job of teaching is made more difficult depending on the home circumstances of pupils. No increased amount of haranguing of teachers or head teachers will alter this fact."


From Belfast Telegraph