16 June 2015
Two headlines rubbed up against each other in my news app today, one mentioned that Nicky Morgan had appointed a new "behaviour tsar" to help teachers combat low-level disruption in the classroom such as children making silly comments, passing notes to each other and swinging on their chairs; the other was "Nicky Morgan hails inspection figures as cause for celebration".
These headlines, seen together, caught my attention - the new "tsar" post arising presumably because of Ofsted's September report "Below the radar: low-level disruption in the country’s classrooms" which suggested that behaviour is an issue: so is Morgan's celebration a reflection on improvements to Ofsted behaviour ratings...?
We delved, as so often nowadays, into our Educational Intelligence data to see what it revealed about Ofsted's observations on behaviour. Below the radar looked only at schools inspected by Ofsted in 2014 - a snapshot of behaviour. But we like trends, because they're much more revealing, obviously. Fortunately we have a unique set of Ofsted data here at schoolzone, which has logged all inspection results, year by year, since 2010. It's unique because Ofsted publishes data in a horrible format that seems almost intended to prevent anyone from doing anything useful with it - we spent hours and hours separating it out into a useable format - an because historical Ofsted data is no longer published, apparently.
Anyway, what the Ofsted trend data shows is:
In other words, the proportion of schools receiving an Ofsted rating of Outstanding for behaviour and safety of pupils has declined overall in the past five years (note 2015 data until March only). Meanwhile there has been an increase in behaviour which requires improvement:
It's not easy to see what Morgan is celebrating in this, but let's hope that actions speak louder (are more effective than) words and that her new tsar has some positive impact soon.
NOTE: Ofsted inspection trend data is just one of over 2,000 pieces of public information held on each school in England, much of which runs back to 2009-10, which comprise our Educational Intelligence data. If you'd like us to answer a question for you, please feel free to get in touch and we'll see what we can do.