Ofsted has confirmed that it will retain its four-point grading system of early years providers and schools in the new inspection framework which will be implemented in September.

From September 2019, the four areas inspectors will make judgements on will change to:

  • quality of education

  • leadership and management

  • behaviour and attitudes

  • personal development.

However, the existing four-point grading system will remain as follows.

  • Grade 1 (outstanding).

  • Grade 2 (good).

  • Grade 3 (requires improvement).

  • Grade 4 (inadequate).

The inspectorate has published a new report explaining the reasons and evidence for keeping its current grading system, despite ongoing criticisms from the sector.

In the report, Ofsted acknowledges that the current grading system has been the subject of a lot of debate and it has received a range of recommendations for changing it. However, the report concludes that “the arguments for change do not yet counterbalance the arguments for keeping the current system”.

According to Ofsted, the current grading system is useful for parents and policymakers and provides a useful headline indicator of provider quality. The report also highlights that the current system works as a trigger for intervention in schools when they are judged as “inadequate”.

The new report, Retaining Ofsted’s Current Grading System in Education, is available here.

Last reviewed 6 May 2019