Four in five Calderdale schools rated good or outstanding at last inspection ahead of new school year

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Just over four in five schools in Calderdale were rated good or outstanding at their last inspection, figures show.

The latest Ofsted data shows that 15 state schools in the area were graded outstanding, and 67 good as of December 31 – 82% of the 100 which had received an inspection by this point.

This was up from 80% in December 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

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But it means the area's rate falls behind that across England, of 87%.


The proportion of schools rated good or outstanding nationally is the highest since comparable records began in 2010, but varied significantly between local authorities.

Inspectors judge schools on categories including the quality of teaching, personal development and welfare, the effectiveness of the leadership and pupils' achievements.

Schools requiring improvement will be inspected again within 30 months, while those deemed good or outstanding will usually be reviewed again once every four years.

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However, the figures show that just 2,400 schools in England were inspected between 2019-20 and 2021-22 as a result of the pandemic – fewer than would be rated in a typical school year.

The Association of School and College Leaders said this was a temporary issue, but warned that the real problem is the inspection system itself.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, said: “Schools in disadvantaged communities are more likely to receive negative ratings than those in affluent areas because it is often harder in these areas to recruit the range of staff needed to support pupils who may face significant challenges in their own lives."

He said it is a "vicious circle" where negative Ofsted ratings stigmatise schools and make improvement even more difficult.

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He added: "The Government must reform the inspection system so it is more supportive and less punitive, improve education funding and work with the sector to boost teacher recruitment and retention."

Of the 82 schools in Calderdale rated good or higher, 67 were primary schools, and 10 secondary schools.

There were also four special schools and one school offering alternative provision graded good or outstanding.

The Department for Education said inspections provide an independent and rounded assessment of schools, which are helpful to both teachers and parents.

Ofsted declined to comment.