See which previously outstanding schools in Sunderland and South Tyneside have maintained their grade following latest Ofsted inspections
Concerns have been raised about the length of time outstanding schools have been left without being inspected after hundreds of previously outstanding schools – including six across Sunderland and South Tyneside – have been downgraded following recent inspections.
Schools judged outstanding had been exempt from routine inspection, with many of these schools going on average 13 years since their last inspection.
This rule was lifted in 2020 and in the last academic year (2021-2022) Ofsted has inspected 370 of these schools, with only 17 per cent maintaining their outstanding status.
The dramatic downturn in Ofsted grades has raised concerns from Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman who said: “Regular inspection gives parents confidence in the quality of their child’s school. Exempting outstanding schools deprived parents of up-to-date information. It also left a lot of schools without the constructive challenge that regular inspection provides.
“These outcomes show that removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better.”
However, the new judgements and their validity have been questioned by the teaching unions.
National Education Union secretary Kevin Courtney said: “Far from demonstrating the value of Ofsted, this report shows that the inspectorate makes no material positive difference to schools.
“Schools must be accountable, but Ofsted is thoroughly discredited in the eyes of school leaders, staff and parents. Its findings are frequently unreliable and invalid.”