Nine 'outstanding' Luton schools to face Ofsted inspectors after years of exemption

Nine Luton schools rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted will soon return to routine inspections after years of exemption.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:30 pm

From September, Ofsted will resume inspecting schools across the country and for the first time in almost a decade, those deemed 'outstanding' will also face compulsory routine visits.

In Luton, the schools rated 'outstanding' are:

> Challney High School for Boys (last full inspection - Jan 2007);

'Outstanding' Luton schools will no longer enjoy exemption from routine Ofsted inspections

> Challney High School for Girls (last full inspection - Jan 2020);

> Denbigh High School (last full inspection - Oct 2007);

> Denbigh Primary School (last full inspection - Nov 2018);

> Hillborough Junior School (last full inspection - Jan 2010);

> Leagrave Primary School (last full inspection - Jan 2019);

> Someries Infant School (last full inspection - Feb 2017);

> Tennyson Road Primary School (last full inspection - May 2013)

> Crawley Green Infant School (last full inspection - June 2013).

Under rules introduced in 2012, 'outstanding' schools became exempt from being routinely re-inspected and only faced scrutiny if concerns were raised about their performance.

The exemptions were introduced by the then Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government in order to give 'outstanding' schools more freedom.

The guidelines mean over 100 schools across England have gone for over a decade without a full inspection, including Challney High School for Boys and Denbigh High School.

Partly as a result of the pandemic, it is anticipated it could take up to six years for Ofsted to catch up with its backlog.

The move to remove exemptions was announced by the Department for Education in October and received praise from the Association of School and College Leaders. The National Education Union said that 'outstanding schools' should never have been treated differently.

Ofsted's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said: “We had long called for the exemption for 'outstanding' schools to be lifted.

"I am very pleased that all schools will now be inspected routinely once our full inspection programme restarts this autumn. This is what parents expect and children deserve.

“This change will reassure parents and ensure that the outstanding judgement itself remains a genuine beacon of excellence.”

All formerly exempt schools must be inspected within the next five years and Ofsted will prioritise schools that have gone the longest without an inspection.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said the inspections would help to drive up standards, increase parent choice and contribute to the building of a stronger school system that can better serve pupils and their families.