Schools with brighter pupils more likely to achieve better ratings, says Ofsted

The claim, made by Ofsted’s chief statistician Robert Pike, will be viewed as a further contradiction to inspectorates declaration it offers objective judgements on the quality of teaching and learning in schools.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "The way Ofsted makes judgements on data means they simply compare less privileged schools to more privileged schools. [Less privileged schools] are always on a losing streak and an uneven playing field."

Pike also outlined it is ‘probably easier’ for schools with ‘advantaged intakes’ to receive Ofsted’s two highest ratings. Pike’s comments were made in a letter to a deputy head teacher, who claimed the inspectorate exhibits ‘extreme bias’ against schools with lower ability pupils.

Heads’ leaders are calling for the watchdog to give more consideration to context when making judgements on schools.

Pike’s letter was sent to the founder of the National Association of Secondary Moderns, Ian Widdows, who is concerned about the disparity the Ofsted judgements received by his members and those given to selective grammars.

The Ofsted official has argued grammars’ higher rating may be due to ‘more effective teaching’, while Mr Widdows, deputy head teacher at Giles Acadamy in Lincolnshire, said the claim was an ‘insult’ to teachers in other schools.

Read more