More secondary schools previously deemed to require improvement have boosted their inspection grades since the return of routine Ofsted visits.
Figures released by the department today show 68 per cent of secondary schools with the rating inspected so far this year were upgraded to ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
That compares with 42 per cent of those judged as ‘requires improvement’ (RI) that enhanced their grade in 2019-20.
The findings come as the Department for Education confirmed plans to intervene at schools rated RI or below in successive Ofsted inspections.
Under the move, maintained schools and standalone academies could be ordered to join multi-academy trusts.
But Ofsted has warned the intervention is “unnecessary and potentially damaging” for improving schools and risk encouraging “quick fixes”.
Out of the 1,600 graded inspections Ofsted carried out this academic year, more than a third of schools – or 600 – had previously been judged RI.
The proportion of both primary and secondary schools requiring improvement that saw their grade rise in 2021-22 was 70 per cent, compared with 56 per cent in 2019-20.
While secondaries saw the biggest increase, a higher proportion of primary schools than secondary schools improved in the same timeframe – 71 per cent compared with 68 per cent.
Schools Week previously revealed that secondary schools are gaining better grades in the aftermath of Covid lockdowns.
School leaders have pointed to the benefits of having more time and capacity to develop their curriculum during pandemic closures, when inspections were paused in March 2020.
The length of time between graded inspections of schools previously requiring improvement increased from 2.6 years in 2019-20 to four years in 2021-22.