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PM welcomes plans to push coasting schools harder

Tuesday, January 17 2012

David Cameron (Photo credit: Andrew Parsons)

Ahead of a government summit on 'coasting schools' to be held at Downing Street, Ofsted's Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has confirmed his intention to scrap the 'satisfactory' judgment for school inspections.

Instead, schools that fail to provide a good standard of education will be graded 'requires improvement', and no school will be allowed to stay in this category for more than three years.

Ofsted wants to send a message that 'satisfactory' is now unsatisfactory and that more schools should be pushing for the higher rating of 'good'.

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the change: "This is not some small bureaucratic change. It marks a massive shift in attitude. I don't want the word 'satisfactory' to exist in our education system. 'Just good enough' is frankly not good enough.

"To those who say that this will alienate some schools, I say we've got to stop making excuses and start doing what is best for our children: demanding excellence and confronting complacency wherever we find it."

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted said: "There are too many coasting schools not providing an acceptable standard of education. Of particular concern are the 3,000 schools educating a million children that have been 'satisfactory' two inspections in a row.

"This is not good enough. That is why I am determined to look again at the judgements we award, not only so we are accurately reporting what we see, but so that those schools that most need help are identified and can properly begin the process of improvement.

"I make no apology for making even greater demands of an education system which has to respond with greater urgency to increasingly difficult and competitive economic circumstances."

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