Schools urged to consider removing Ofsted banners

10 January 2018

Headteachers are being advised to consider removing banners which proclaim Ofsted inspection judgements from outside their schools.

The suggestion comes in advice sent out yesterday by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) to members entitled ‘101 ideas to help you manage inspection’.

Number 91 reads: “Reconsider your banner: whilst you may be proud of your inspection result, remember Ofsted is not the only mark of success. Perhaps the views of your pupils and parents would be a refreshing and welcome alternative!

ASCL Inspections Specialist Stephen Rollett said:

“Inspections are obviously important but they don’t tell the full story. There is so much more to a school than whether a team of inspectors think it is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

“Schools open up a world of learning – sports, music, arts, science, history, languages and literature. A generic Ofsted rating cannot do justice to their distinctive character. Let’s replace those banners with something more inspiring than an accountability measure.

“We could instead put up quotes from parents and pupils about the things they love about our schools, the things which really make schools tick.”

The ASCL guide provides schools with practical advice on how to prepare for and manage inspections, and what to do if an inspection goes wrong. It has been circulated to more than 14,000 heads, deputy heads, assistant heads and other senior staff in schools in England.

It emphasises the need to ensure that inspections do not generate lots of extra work.

Number 4 reads: “Be mindful of workload at all times, for you and your staff. Inspection should not generate extra work for teachers, and the ideas outlined in this document are typically low cost in terms of money and time.”

ASCL will be producing a similar guide specifically for colleges in due course.