WembleyWonderful Tips #113 - Ofsted Ratings for Dummies


A few weeks ago, LIL was inspected by OFSTED; and the outcome of this inspection was published last week, with the school rated Good overall, with several Outstanding features . For those not familiar with British school ratings, I though a bit of background information about OFSTED ratings would be helpful.

First, what is OFSTED? OFSTED stands for “Office for Standards in Education”. It is a government body which inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people – schools but also childminders, children social care workers, etc… Its target is for these services to reach a standard level of care.

Which schools are inspected by OFSTED? OFSTED inspects so-called maintained schools (i.e. state schools and academies, both free); and independent (=private fee-paying) schools which are not part of an association. Independent schools which are part of an association (the large majority) are inspected by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI), a private body monitored by OFSTED.

How often and what outcome? OFSTED Inspections of non-association independent schools normally takes place every three year . The inspection takes places under “The common inspection framework”, a document that lays out precisely how inspections are supposed to take place and what the inspectors are looking at when inspecting a school . The inspection result is an overall grade for the school: grade 1 is “Outstanding” / grade 2 “Good”/ grade 2 “Requires improvement”/ grade 4 “Inadequate” . Schools that are rated “require improvement or “inadequate” will be re-inspected within 2 years. These schools may also receive a progress monitoring inspection before their next standard inspection.

What are the national statistics? For the school year 2017-2018, 87% of primary schools and 75% of secondary school inspected by OFSTED across the UK had a “Good” or “Outstanding” rating (according to the OFTSED 2017/2018 annual report). Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get statistics from London as a group, as results are split by boroughs and my life is too short to aggregate them. But from anecdotal evidence, middle-class parents will be extremely reluctant to put their children in a state primary school if it rated below good; and secondary state schools of high quality are scarce. Similar statistics do not seem available from the ISI for the independent schools they inspect; but you would hope all those private school fees are worth something…

What was the previous rating for LIL? For its first inspection in March 2017, LIL received an overall “requires improvements” rating , which created a massive shock to the community. The new rating is therefore a substantial improvement.

What are the OFSTED ratings for the various French schools in London? Here they are:

  • Charles de Gaulle (primary + secondary): Good (September 2018)
  • CFBL (primary + secondary): Outstanding (June 2018)
  • Jeannine Manuel (primary + secondary): no OFSTED rating available as now under the ISI supervision (previous OFTSED rating in December 2016 was Good)
  • Jacques Prévert (primary): Outstanding (March 2018)
  • L’Ecole des Petits (primary): Outstanding (December 2017)
  • L’Ecole Bilingue (primary): Outstanding (March 2019)
  • L’Ecole Internationale Franco-Anglaise (primary): Good (May 2018)