Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, is a govenment body set up to inspect schools and other childcare/educational institutions and judge their effectiveness. Schools are inspected every few years. Not all institutions are inpsected by Ofsted. Some independent schools, pre schools and post 16 institutions and universities are not subject to inspection. You can find out more about Ofsted at www.ofsted.gov.uk.
Ofsted publishes its findings in reports, which contain both a written description and appraisal of the school, and a series of judgements of the school's effectiveness in a wide range of areas (there are more than 20 categories in which schools are judged, for example, Academic standards; pupil behaviour; school leadership etc).
In each area schools are judged on a score from 1 to 4, where
1 = Outstanding.
2 = Good.
3 = Satisfactory.
4 = inadequate.
In other words, the lower the score, the better.
Education Adviser is perhaps the only service, other than Ofsted itself, to make the text and full inspection judgements of these reports available free to the public. And it is the only service that enables you to compare, evaluate and rank schools on some of the individual judgements. For example, you are able on this site to establish which schools in your area are judged as having the best pupil behaviour, or the most effective curriculum.
We have also calculated average scores for each of the judgements across the entire database of Ofsted reports, so you can see how well a school performs relative to this average. Contrary to what you might think, the average "Overall Effectiveness" headline score is not 3 ("satisfactory") but 2.3 (closer to "good"). In most other areas the average judgement is also closer to "good" than "satisfactory". A school judged as "satisfactory" is in fact performing less effectively than the average school, in Ofsted's view.
Our data is almost complete for Ofsted mainstream school reports since 2005. We aim to add new reports to the service as they are produced, on a regular basis.