Grammar schools are commonly known as being a school for more academic pupils, this may remove the assumption that they need to be inspected by the Government. But is this true, do grammar schools have to be inspected by Ofsted?
Grammar schools are state funded schools, and not independent. As a result, they are inspected by Ofsted. Just like any other school.
However, due to the nature of skill in Grammar Schools, there are some complications regarding the frequency of inspection, you should read on to find out about this.
Table of Contents
Do grammar schools get inspected by Ofsted?
Grammar schools are state funded schools, so must be inspected regularly by Ofsted. Just like any other school, they will teach the National Curriculum, follow school term dates, and get inspected regularly by Ofsted.
Are grammar schools exempt from inspection?
It used to be that some schools were exempt from inspection. This was because they maintained the good or outstanding effectiveness of their school, from a section 5 inspection. Before 13 November 2020, they were exempt from reinspection. However, this has now changed, and all good or outstanding schools will be re-inspected by 1 August 2025. Then after 2025, regular inspections will carry on. You can read more about this, by clicking here to go the Government’s page on Ofsted timings.
Are Ofsted inspections mandatory?
Ofsted inspections are mandatory for state funded schools, like Grammar schools. The school will normally get notice of the inspection, only on the day before. They can, however, inspect a school without any notice of the inspection. In this case, they will receive notice 15 mins before. The school will be provided a letter or leaflet from Ofsted regarding the inspection. You can read about notice of inspection, by clicking here to go to the Governments school inspection handbook.
How often are grammar schools inspected by Ofsted?
Grammar schools, just like any other schools, is inspected within 3 years of it opening up. Usually, grammar schools are quite old, so this would have already happened. Afterwards, they are inspected every 4 years. Here is where it may get complicated. A school judged good or outstanding, will receive an inspection under a section 8 around every 4 years. However, if there is a major change in its circumstances, or there is evidence of standards changing, they will receive a section 5.
How are grammar schools inspected?
Grammar schools are inspected like any other school. A school judged good or outstanding will get an inspection every 4 years. This is to make sure that it has maintained its good or outstanding status. This is called a section 8 inspection. This inspection is not a full inspection, nor is it given a grade, almost like a “check-up”. If there is evidence of standards increasing or decreasing, a full inspection will be taken out. This is a section 5 inspection. This is usually taken 1 to 2 years of the section 8. Some schools may also automatically receive a section 5. This is when Ofsted’s risk assessment indicates that the school’s performance, like grades, has deteriorated. This can also happen if a school has undergone a major change. You can read more about this, by clicking here to go the Government’s page on Ofsted timings.
Why are grammar schools inspected by Ofsted?
Grammar schools are expected to have a higher standard of education and teach smarter or more able students. Despite this higher standard, they are still required by law to have regular inspections. While grades are generally high, there may be other factors of the school. For example, many grammar schools are decades, or even a few hundred years old. Many of the schools also remain on their old site. This may cause a safety issue. Or if there is a change of leadership, change of age range or any other major changes, Ofsted will come to inspect the school to maintain its high standards.
What happens during the inspection of grammar schools?
When Ofsted comes to visit, they will first require the school to notify parents, with a leaflet they give. If needed, they will also give a form to students or parents, asking them for their opinions. A normal inspection lasts 2 full school days. The size of the inspector teams varies on the size and manner of the school. They will spend most of their time observing lessons and gathering evidence on learning. They will also meet and ask students questions on their schools and ask for their opinions on certain matters. The lead inspector will regularly visit the headteacher and subject leaders to attend lessons.
When do results of Ofsted inspections come out?
After the inspection, Ofsted will invite the headteacher to a full team meeting. An oral report is given on the school, and feedback is given to staff. In this meeting, the grade is given, and the main points of feedback, and how the reports will be published. This is usually within a few months of the inspections, where the full, in-detail report is given on the school’s report. You can click here to read more about the inspection, from this Government page.
What is an Ofsted inspection?
An Ofsted inspection is an inspection of State Funded schools to report on many things. This can be the achievement of pupils of the school or the teaching quality students receive. Sometimes, it can also be the quality of the leadership of the school. They may also assess the behaviour of the students, and the safety of the school. This is to ensure that all schools are giving a sufficient education to the students that attend, and that it is a safe and welcoming environment. The inspection of state funded schools is run by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). They are part of the Department for Education, and report to parliament. You can click here, to learn more about Ofsted.
What is a grammar school?
Grammar Schools are state funded schools which offer places to students that they believe are smarter, and are more likely to be successful, based of the 11 Plus exam. They are usually not very different to any other secondary school in terms of the subjects offered. However, the results of the students are usually higher. The students are also more likely to be accepted into a university. You can read more about this, by clicking here to go to a Think Student article on grammar schools.