Last reviewed 14 December 2021

Ofsted has published data on school inspections carried out since the start of term, which shows that the overall grade profile for schools has improved in comparison with the period prior to the pandemic.

Available here, the information shows that, during the three months up to the end of November, 83% of schools were judged good or outstanding.

This compares with 77% of schools rated good or outstanding between September 2019 — when the new education inspection framework (EIF) was introduced — and March 2020, when inspections were suspended.

For the first time since the Government lifted the exemption on inspecting outstanding schools, the data includes the new grades for those schools visited this term.

“Ofsted is currently inspecting previously exempt schools that have gone the longest without an inspection — over half of those inspected this term had not been inspected for over 10 years — so it isn’t surprising that many have not retained the top grade,” the regulator said.

It has highlighted that schools previously judged as requires improvement (RI) or inadequate have done particularly well this term with 72% of previously RI schools having attained a good or outstanding grade since September.

This compares with 56% during the 2019/20 period, while 56% of those previously rated inadequate have improved to good or outstanding, compared with 40% last year.

Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: “I am fully aware that schools are still facing very significant challenges as a result of the pandemic. So, I’m very pleased to report that schools are improving and being recognised for doing so. In fact, inspection results this term are very much in line with what we saw before the pandemic began, if not slightly improved.”