Private schools rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted reach seven-year high

The proportion of private schools rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted has reached a seven-year high, official statistics reveal.

New Ofsted figures on inspection outcomes of the 983 private schools in England which fall under the watchdog’s remit show that 13 per cent were rated ‘inadequate’ as of March 31 this year.

This compares with 11 per cent at August last year, four per cent in August 2014 and just three per cent in August 2011.

Just 3.3 per cent of mainstream primary and secondary schools are currently rated as inadequate by Ofsted.

The proportion of private schools rated ‘requires improvement’ at the end of March also rose slightly, from 17 per cent in 2016 to 18 per cent this year.

At the same time, the proportion of private schools rated ‘outstanding’ remains stable at 14 per cent, while the proportion rated ‘good’ has dropped from 58 per cent last year to 55 per cent this year.

It means the proportion of private schools rated either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is 69 per cent, the lowest since 2011.

The data also shows that private special schools are faring much better than general private schools.

Of the 423 private special schools under Ofsted’s remit, 16 per cent were rated ‘outstanding’ as of March 31, while 60 per cent were rated ‘good’, 16 per cent ‘requires improvement’ and just nine per cent ‘inadequate’.

Of the remaining 560 general private schools, 12 per cent were rated ‘outstanding’, 51 per cent were ‘good’, 20 per cent were rated ‘requires improvement’, and 17 per cent received ‘inadequate’.

At the same time, regional figures show significant variations in the Ofsted ratings of private schools across England.

In both the East Midlands and London, 18 per cent of schools were rated ‘outstanding’, while the east of England had the highest proportion of ‘inadequate’-rated schools, at 17 per cent.

Ofsted only inspects those private schools that are not members of the Independent Schools Council or covered by the Schools Inspection Service or Bridge Schools Inspectorate.

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