Here are the 20 Ofsted rated "outstanding" Wakefield schools that will face inspectors under new rules

There are 20 "outstanding" Wakefield schools that are set to face inspectors for the first time since controversial exemptions were axed.

By Leanne Clarke
Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:10 am

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.

Figures from the education watchdog, covering 131 of Wakefield's primary and secondary schools, show that 20 received an outstanding rating the last time they were inspected.

Under rules introduced in 2012, those schools became exempt from being routinely reinspected and only faced scrutiny if concerns were raised about their performance.

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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.

The exemptions were introduced by the then Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government to give outstanding schools more freedom.

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According to the latest Ofsted figures, the outstanding educational facilities in Wakefield include 17 primary schools and three secondary schools.

They are:

Castleford Academy

Crigglestone Dane Royd Junior and Infant School

Dimple Well Infant School and Nursery

Gawthorpe Community Academy

Glasshoughton Infant Academy

Grove Lea Primary School

Jerry Clay Academy

Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School

Martin Frobisher Infant School

Normanton All Saints CofE Infant School

Ossett Holy Trinity CofE VA Primary School

Outwood Academy City Fields

Outwood Grange Academy

Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate

Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane

Rooks Nest Academy

South Ossett Infant Academy

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

The Vale Primary Academy

Wakefield Snapethorpe Primary School

The coronavirus pandemic saw the organisation suspend all routine inspections, but in line with the lifting of restrictions across the country, inspectors will begin their visits again in September.

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

Geoff Barton from ASCL said the exemptions had been well-intentioned with built-in safeguards but had resulted in parents going too long without the “verification of an inspection”.

He added: “It is time to reverse the policy."

"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.

But Dr Mary Bousted from the NEU warned that the relaunch of inspections coupled with the on-going pandemic could cause disruption at a time when "the priority of leaders, staff and pupils must surely be education recovery."

She said: "This work is immediately diminished by inspections which are always disruptive, causing enormous stress on beleaguered staff and taking time away from what really matters."

In some cases, such as where a facility has recently transformed into an academy, the latest inspection outcome may refer to the current school's predecessor, Ofsted said.