Ofsted’s latest research report creates another negative and unhelpful label for those schools working in some of the most challenging circumstances...

New year, new label? January’s Fight or flight report from Ofsted introduces us to yet another label for allegedly “underperforming” schools (Ofsted, 2020; SecEd, 2020).

The report, whose full title is Fight or flight? How ‘stuck’ schools are overcoming isolation, compares schools which have improved after consistently poor Ofsted inspections against those which have not, designating the latter as “stuck”.

The report hit headlines for varying reasons, especially as it highlighted that up to 210,000 pupils are in “stuck” schools.
Schools North East – a school-led network representing 1,150 schools across the region – also made some of these headlines due to our strong response to the report, as it unhelpfully highlighted Darlington as one area with a high number of “stuck” schools, feeding into a wider false narrative around achievement and school performance in the North East.

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