What we learnt from Ofsted’s annual report and Wilshaw’s speech

British Education Policy

Today Ofsted published its annual report on the state of the education system which was accompanied by a speech on the same subject by Michael Wilshaw. The main themes were hardly a surprise. It largely marked a reiteration and development of much of what Ofsted and Wilshaw have been trying to draw attention to for the last two years. Nonetheless, several things stand out.

1. There are some grounds for optimism, but we are starting from a low base

On the whole England’s schools are improving, or at least they’re improving if you accept the validity of Ofsted judgements as an indication of school quality (I’m something of an agnostic on this point). As the report puts it, ‘children in England now have the best chance they have ever had of attending a good school’. The number of schools rated good or outstanding is now 78%, up from 70% last year.

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