Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership's Education Summit on Wednesday, the chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, says that Ofsted recognises the relative strength of schools in poorer areas by rating leadership more highly
She said that Ofsted has looked at the judgement profiles for schools with various levels of disadvantaged intakes, finding that the overall effectiveness judgements are on average lower for the most disadvantaged schools
But she went on to say that, compared with more advantaged schools, disadvantaged schools are quite a lot more likely to have Ofsted rate their leadership and management more highly than overall effectiveness - that shows how their relative strength is recognised in more difficult circumstances
The chief inspector warned that there is a 'deep and difficult tension between judging schools in terms of the experience children get and how well schools are doing with the hand they've been dealt'
She believes that whilst parents are interested in overall judgements, decisions about school interventions should be based on schools' relative performance which is reflected in the leadership and management judgement