- facts and figures on how often Ofsted reports mention science
Who this is for
- UK policy makers
- anyone who wants to understand how science is reviewed by Ofsted inspectors
To understand how science is reviewed by Ofsted inspectors, we analysed their reports for 2017 to 2018 and compared how frequently the word ‘science’ was used, compared to ‘maths’ in particular.
- Mentions of science in primary school inspection reports have increased over the years. In 2017-18 it was mentioned in 61% of reports. This is still much less than maths, which was mentioned in 100% of reports.
- In secondary school inspection reports, mentions of science increased to 87%. This is only 12% behind maths.
- Ofsted inspections should contribute to raising the quality of science in schools. Every effort should be made to ensure science is mentioned in all short and full inspection reports, and this equals mentions of maths and English. This is a critical part of the accountability system and will help to highlight the importance of science to schools and teachers.
- Hands-on, practical science is an invaluable part of science education. All Ofsted reports, especially full inspection reports, should comment on the quality and quantity of a school’s provision of investigative or experimental science work.
- Review of Ofsted school inspection reports 2016 to 2017 [PDF 78KB]
- Review of Ofsted school inspection reports 2015 to 2016 [PDF 127KB]
- Review of Ofsted school inspection reports 2014 to 2015 [PDF 132KB]
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