Following the publication of the new draft Ofsted framework, the CEO of the UK's leading adoption charity has expressed disappointment that the new guideline focuses solely on educational attainment rather than taking a holistic view of child development.
Having been released earlier today, the framework is the first new rubric published for inspectors since 2015 and should it be given the green light, will constitute the core guideline for every school inspection from this September onwards.
But - with education being their self-stated "number one concern" for Adoption UK - the charity's CEO, Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, has responded to the publication by highlighting its lack of focus on adopted students, three quarters of whom have suffered significant abuse or neglect in their birth families which can have a serious impact on their ability to learn - adopted students are 20-times more likely to be excluded from school and much more likely to leave with no qualifications.
"No school should be judged 'outstanding' unless it’s outstanding for all children; many schools with stellar exam results do a very bad job for their most vulnerable pupils," Dr Armstrong Brown said. "Ofsted’s new focus on the quality of education and personal development is really good news, it’s a recognition that academic attainment is a very partial measure of a school’s success.
"[But] there should be just as much value placed on the work that the best schools do to support those who have experienced trauma or have special needs and might not be exam high flyers, as those who find learning easy," she added.
"Right now, schools tell us they have little incentive to invest time and funds in supporting their most vulnerable students because of the obsession with academic results; Ofsted has a big job ahead to reassure schools that they will be equally rewarded for their pupils’ academic results and for supporting their emotional and social needs and to help teachers learn from those schools that are already finding the right balance."