Does Gove and the Department for Education need a lesson in statistics?

Reading the 2010 Annual Ofsted Report makes encouraging reading in the context of the constant attacks on local authority schools.


The Ofsted report concludes that 75% of all maintained schools have either maintained or improved standards, despite a tougher inspection regime.  


The rise in the percentage judged inadequate, from 4% to 8% could be explained by a skewing of the schools selected for inspection, together with higher expectations.


56% of maintained schools inspected in 2009/2010 were judged to be “good or outstanding”, rising to 68% when previous inspections were included.  Not a bad picture, then.


It is surprising then that the Department for Education headline on this news is: “More academies than ever rated as outstanding” and follow this with “The 2010 Ofsted annual report published today shows that while generally across the schools sector the number of inspections this year resulting in an inadequate rating has doubled, academies have bucked the trend using their freedoms to raise standards across the board with more than ever being rated as outstanding.”


It is difficult to see the justification of this statement when, of the 43 academies inspected during the year, 3 (7%) were judged to be inadequate, despite the extra funding and fewer than 50% were judged to be good or outstanding.


50% is less than 56%, Mr Gove!


Interestingly, the maintained sector compares very favourably with the independent sector (private) with 66% of independent schools inspected achieving a good or outstanding report.

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