WembleyWonderful Tips #45: OFSTED Reports for Dummies

Last week’s OFSTED’s report on LIL created a lot of emotion. To put this emotion in perspective, I thought it would be useful to look into what those OFSTED reports really are; and what LIL’s rating means when put in context versus national statistics.

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 results in an overall grade for the school: grade 1 is Outstanding / grade 2 Good/ grade 2 is Requires improvement/ grade 4 is 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 2015-2016, 90% of primary schools and 78% of secondary school inspected by OFSTED across the UK had a “Good” or “Outstanding” rating (according to the OFTSED 2015/2016 annual report) – quite a big surprise for me I must admit, as it is not the feeling I had after living 17 years in London! Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get statistics from London as a group, as results as split by boroughs and my life is too short to aggregate them. But from anecdotal evidence, middle-class parents will be reluctant to put their children in a state primary school if it rated below good; and that 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 expect all those private school fees are worth something.

What are the OFSTED ratings for the various French schools in London? Here they are for French school providing primary and secondary education in London.

Charles de Gaulle (primary + secondary) : Good (12/2012 report)

CFBL (primary + secondary): Good (03/2015 report)

Jeannine Manuelle (primary + secondary): Good (12/2016)

Jacques Prevert (primary): Outstanding (11/2011 report)

L’Ecole des Petits (primary): Outstanding (01/2010 report)

L’Ecole bilingue (primary): Outstanding (03/2016 report)

L’école internationale franco-anglaise (primary) : Good (10/2013 report)