Ofsted leaves schools uninspected for 10 years in Sheffield

Ofsted has been criticised after it was revealed some Sheffield schools have not been inspected for 10 years.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 9:58 am
Children in classroom.

The Star reported yesterday the most up-to-date Ofsted rating for every primary and secondary school in the city.

But in the wake of the report, parents and teaching unions have slammed Ofsted after we revealed 45 per cent of city schools have not been inspected in the last two years.

The schools left longest are Dobcroft Juniors, Millhouses, last inspected in December 2006; Beighton Nursery and Infants, last inspected March 2007; Dobcroft Infants, May 2007; and St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary, Meadowhead, October 2007. All the schools are rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted on their last inspection.

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Simon Murch, joint division secretary of Sheffield National Union of Teachers, said: “Ofsted has never treated schools equally and the frequency of visits is just one example of this.

“People might think Dore, Totley, Millhouses and Nether Edge have all the outstanding teachers. However just maybe the ones doing the hardest work and the best job are those on the Manor and Parson Cross.”

Parents criticised the time between inspections.

Cheryl Fairhurst said: “Schools on the list from an inspection 10 years ago. How is that a true reflection? Lots can happen in 10 years. The curriculum has changed massively for a start.”

Michael O’Keefe added: “I don’t see how any inspections over a couple of years old are relevant. The schools with inspections five plus years ago will have been inspected differently, they could have different staff and head teachers.”

Ofsted said schools rated as ‘outstanding’ become exempt from inspections. But they can be inspected following genuine complaints, or if results slip.

A spokesman said: “The frequency of inspection is dependent on the performance and the circumstances of the school.

“Under current inspection arrangements, schools rated as ‘inadequate’ and ‘requires improvement’ are inspected more frequently than those rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, to ensure that they are making the necessary improvements.

“In law, schools that were outstanding at their last inspection are exempt from inspection. The Chief Inspector has the power to inspect such schools if concerns are raised about their performance or because of a qualifying complaint.”