2nd July 2018

Does the claim of ‘1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools’ stack up?

This paper from the Education Policy Institute analyses the government’s claim that “there are now 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than there were in 2010”.

Authored by Jon Andrews, Director for School System and Performance and Deputy Head of Research at EPI, the analysis concludes that the figure does not accurately represent the level of improvement in school standards over this period.

The paper identifies several factors that question the statistic’s credibility:

  • Increases in the pupil population and shifts in the schools pupils attend account for 578,000 pupils of the increase in the number of pupils attending good or outstanding schools – over a quarter of the total.
  • 579,000 pupils attend schools that are rated as good or outstanding but have not been inspected since at least 2010. There are 124,000 pupils in schools that have not been inspected in the last 10 years.
  • There are 309,000 pupils are in schools that have not been inspected since at least 2010 and are converter academies not inspected in that form.
  • For primary schools, the introduction of the requires improvement grade was associated with a large increase in one year in the proportion of schools improving their grade at inspection.


You can download the analysis in full here.