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Many outstanding schools in England inspected last year are downgraded … but no Earwig school has ever been

Ofsted inspectors have been very busy, of late, in their bid to make up for time lost over COVID. The new priority is to look first at schools that have gone the longest without inspection. Some of these have not been visited for 15 years.

This new policy means that Outstanding schools have been in the firing line – and they have been going down like ninepins.

60% of the Outstanding schools inspected in 2021 are now either Good or lower. This is a seismic shift.*

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said regular inspections gave parents “confidence in the quality of their child’s school”. She said it was important for parents to understand that most of the schools have remained “good”, but that it was “concerning that quite a significant number have been marked as needing improvement”.

Schools are already barely coping with high levels of stress and uncertainty, and this recent flurry of Ofsted inspections just adds to that.

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said Ofsted was “driving good teachers away” and “punitive and ill-informed inspection” slowing down improvements.

In this environment, it is interesting to note that no school using Earwig software has ever been downgraded by Ofsted – even though most of our client schools are rated Outstanding.

Ofsted inspectors are human and so anything that helps them helps the school. One of the things that they are looking for is clarity. Clarity of objectives, clarity of execution and clarity of recording. Earwig helps with all of that and provides an instant and vivid picture of almost all teaching and learning. We hear time and again from teaching staff about how enthused their Ofsted inspector had been about Earwig during the inspection. “Very clear and very clever”, “excellent” and “superb” are just some of the descriptions from Ofsted inspectors.

Since the new inspection framework came out in 2019, the inspectors must also evaluate what has been done to reduce staff stress. The UCL research project ‘Educate’ found that Earwig saves teaching staff over 53% in non-teaching time.

Earwig has been even recommended by the DfE (a rare thing) as a way to manage the complex administration required for assessment.

Take the DfE’s advice and contact us for a free online demonstration.

*Data taken from BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-63713880

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