Ofsted has refused to give details of the 300 schools it identified as having “particularly high levels of off-rolling” in a 26 June blogpost.
The inspectorate responded to a Freedom of Information Request submitted by education author Sue Cowley yesterday, stating that they consider the requested information to be exempt under section 33 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Going into further detail in an Appendix to the response, Ofsted state that revealing the names of the schools in question may allow them to prepare for inspection in advance and would “harm our inspection function”. The relevant section of the response states:
“Should schools believe that they may be inspected, as a result of this data being disclosed to public, they may try to prepare for the inspection; or to present the school in a particular way. This would make it more difficult for inspectors to assess the true performance of the school, particularly when other school leaders are only given notice of an inspection taking place on the afternoon before inspectors arrive.
We are satisfied that disclosure would harm our inspection function and that consequently the exemption at section 33 applies. As section 33 is a qualified exemption we are required to consider whether or not the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs that in releasing the information.”
Read the full response here.