9 out of 10 parents know Ofsted rating of their child’s school or childcare provider

Four coloured notebooks stacked on a desk

The survey, carried out by YouGov and published today, also found that 6 in 10 parents feel Ofsted is a force for improvement and a trusted judge of standards. Ofsted reports and the views of other parents are the 2 main sources that parents use when choosing a childcare provider, school or college for their child.

Read the 2018 Annual Parents Survey.

In conjunction with the survey, Ofsted has published a new report considering the criticisms and advantages of the grading system. It concludes that the current 4-point grading system will be retained, as Ofsted prepares to launch a new inspection framework, to come into effect in September.

Ofsted currently awards schools, colleges, further education and skills providers, and early years settings with an overall judgement of either outstanding, good, requires improvement, or inadequate.

‘Retaining the current grading system in education: some arguments and evidence’ argues that these inspection judgements provide parents with a useful headline indicator of provider quality, which is different from, but complements performance data.

The report lists a range of evidence on the high degree of public trust in Ofsted’s work that suggests that the current system is working for parents. It is also used as a trigger for intervention in schools by regional schools commissioners, local authorities, academy trust leaders and governors, when a school is judged as ‘inadequate’ overall.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:

Choosing the right childcare provider, school or college for your child is one of the most important decisions a parent will make. Parents use our reports to help them make that choice and to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their child’s school. The grades are a reliable measure of quality. They are simple, they are well understood and they work for parents.

The 4-point scale was developed by Ofsted and has since been adopted as best practice across public sector inspectorates.

The current grading system

Under the current inspection framework, inspectors make graded judgements on the following areas:

  • effectiveness of leadership and management
  • quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • outcomes for pupils

In each area, schools are graded on a 4-point scale:

  • grade 1 (outstanding)
  • grade 2 (good)
  • grade 3 (requires improvement)
  • grade 4 (inadequate)

They also receive an overall effectiveness grade using the same 4-point scale.

About Ofsted’s 2018 parents survey

This online survey was developed together with Ofsted and carried out amongst parents between 23 November and 28 November 2018.

The total number of respondents was 1,111 parents: 1,000 with a school-aged child and 111 with a pre-school-aged child attending childcare.

The figures have been weighted and are representative of all parents in England by family type, age of family reference person, social grade and region.

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