The focused inspections are part of a concerted programme of action by Ofsted to establish why children in some parts of the country have a much lower chance of attending a good or better school than their peers in other similar areas.
Ten schools were inspected during the focused inspection period 25 to 28 June, including six primary schools, three secondary and a pupil referral unit. The schools were all due for inspection by the end of the 2012/13 academic year and selected to encompass a range of school types.
During the inspections, Ofsted also gathered information on the use, quality and impact of local authority support for school improvement by asking additional key questions of headteachers and governors.
On 17 January 2013, Ofsted announced the first wave of focused school inspections across local authority areas, where children are being denied the standard of education they deserve. The press release is available on the Ofsted website.
Local authority areas were selected for the focused school inspection programme on the basis of the relative proportion of children attending good or better primary schools, as set out in the last Ofsted Annual Report, and Ofsted data on the proportion of children attending good or better secondary schools, as well as any relevant inspection evidence gathered during the autumn 2012 term. These are standard section 5 inspections, which were scheduled to take place this academic year and include all types of schools – although the majority will be primary schools.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.