Two top Birmingham girls’ schools have been seen their Ofsted ratings downgraded from outstanding in the wake of “no notice” inspections.
Kings Norton Girls’ School and Hillcrest School in Bartley Green dropped from the top rating down to satisfactory – the second lowest – following visits by the Government watchdog last month.
Kings Norton was one of six schools nationwide to be subject to a new “no notice inspection” – meaning that staff were only told the day before to expect a visit.
The inspections follow a stark warning from Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw earlier this year that schools which did not have outstanding teaching could face being stripped of their top rating.
Both schools now face a repeat inspection within the next two years.
Union bosses said they were “concerned” at the downgrades, accusing Ofsted of “continually moving the goalposts”.
Kings Norton Girls’ School had been awarded outstanding status following an inspection in November 2007.
Inspectors who visited the school on May 10-11 changed the rating to satisfactory, saying teaching was “not good enough” to ensure students made good progress and achievement.
Head teacher Gill Fox said inspectors did “not see a typical week” at the school during the inspection, with internal exams taking place and Year 11 students leaving on the last day of the inspection.
Mrs Fox said: “I think it gave us plenty of food for thought in terms of taking the school forward, and I think overall it was relatively fair.
“It was harsh in some areas using the new criteria, which is a lot higher in terms of the bar that has been set and we have been judged against that.
“Whether it is fair or not, these are the new standards and the bar has been raised and we will move on from this.”
Ofsted ranked leadership and management, behaviour and safety of people and quality of teaching as satisfactory. Inspectors also noted that GCSE results had dipped slightly at the school in 2010, but Mrs Fox said 32 per cent of all GCSE grades were A*-A in 2011.
She added that the school was on course for “record exam results” this summer.
Mrs Fox said: “The results did dip in one or two subjects, but this is not a trend and this year we are set to get some of the best results we have ever had.