We have reported previously with regard to concerns that the exemption from routine Ofsted inspection granted to outstanding schools was leaving some uninspected for several years (see “New drive to boost standards in schools”).

The Department for Education (DfE) has now proposed that Ofsted should visit all schools judged to be outstanding within the next five academic years.

The details are included in a consultation which can be found here.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Parents want to know that they are making the best, most informed choices about their children’s education. Making sure that all schools are regularly inspected means they will benefit from the expert insight Ofsted provides when making these decisions.”

The proposals in the consultation, which will be subject to parliamentary approval, will prioritise those schools that have gone the longest without inspection. Ofsted is preparing so that it is ready to inspect from September this year.

The exemption was introduced in 2012 in part so that Ofsted could focus on failing and underperforming schools. It is estimated that the proposals will affect around 3700 schools and colleges.

Ofsted will prioritise schools, colleges and other organisations delivering publicly-funded education and training that have gone the longest since their last inspection.

“Although we continue to trust our best schools and colleges to get on with the job of educating,” Mr Williamson concluded, “without Ofsted standards would go unchecked and the exemption meant there is often not an up-to-date picture.”

The deadline for submitting comments is 24 February 2020.

Last reviewed 14 January 2020