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.
Six schools were inspected during the focused inspection week, including: one nursery school; one primary school; two junior schools; and two secondary schools. The schools were selected randomly for the focused inspections from all those due for inspection by the end of this academic year.
During the inspections Her Majesty’s Inspectors also gathered information on the use, quality and impact of local authority support for school improvement by asking three additional key questions of headteachers and governors.
The letter to Portsmouth City has been published online.
Ofsted announced the first wave of focused school inspections across local authority areas, where children are being denied the standard of education they deserve, on 17 January 2013. The press release is available on the Ofsted website.
Local authority areas are being selected for the focused school inspection programme taking place during the spring 2013 term 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 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 most recent published data shows that 52% of secondary school children in Portsmouth attend a good or better school. For primary school children, the figure is 63%.
Ofsted has recently consulted on a new inspection framework for local authority school improvement arrangements. The new framework will be introduced in Summer 2013.
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.