Ofsted WILL now use predecessor school grades in academy statistics

Ofsted has decided to factor the grades of academies’ predecessor schools into its official data, it has confirmed.

The watchdog will now also keep data on university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools separate from that of other sponsored academies from this summer.

Following a consultation at the end of last year, Ofsted will stop ignoring the past ratings of schools that converted into academies but have not been inspected yet when it publishes national data on the state of schools.

The change is expected to lead to a two-percentage-point decrease in the overall proportion of schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

UTCs and studio schools’ inspection grades will no longer be included in Ofsted’s “sponsor-led academy” category, and will be shown separately. However, they will count towards the overall statistics for the “all academies” and “all types of school” categories.

Ofsted expects to include 600 additional schools in its national data as a result of the changes. However, it will make it clear which inspection data is for a new academy and for a predecessor school.

Of the 192 people who responded to the consultation, 57 per cent strongly agreed that Ofsted should include grades of predecessor schools for academies that have not yet been inspected, and 32 per cent agreed.

Ofsted is hoping to introduce the changes in time for its official statistics release in June, based on inspections carried out by the end of March, but they will not be reflected in the next official statistics release due on March 22.