Dozens of "outstanding" Oxfordshire schools are set to face inspectors for the first time since controversial exemptions were axed.

From September, Ofsted will resume inspecting schools across the country and for the first time in almost a decade, those deemed outstanding will also face compulsory routine visits.

Under rules introduced in 2012, outstanding schools became exempt from being routinely reinspected and only faced scrutiny if concerns were raised about their performance.

The exemptions were introduced by the then Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government to give outstanding schools more freedom.

But the guidelines mean many schools across England have gone years without being visited by inspectors as a result. One outstanding primary school in Oxfordshire has not had an inspection since 2007.

Figures from the education watchdog, covering 282 of Oxfordshire's primary and secondary schools, show that 28 received an outstanding rating the last time they were inspected.

Nickolas Prockter, Head of Kingham Primary School, said: “We were originally told outstanding meant every four to six years, so they should come and we would like them to come.

“It is ten years ago for us which is a bit long. I think we are fine but speaking as a parent, more than a head, I hope school’s are inspected more than once every ten years.”

Mr Prockter added Kingham has a “really exciting” and “inspirational” curriculum and the school is “happy for anyone to come in at any time and see what we are like as a school”.

According to the latest Ofsted figures, the outstanding educational facilities in Oxfordshire include 24 primary schools and four secondary schools.

The coronavirus pandemic saw the organisation suspend all routine inspections, but in line with the lifting of restrictions across the country, inspectors will begin their visits again in September.

The move to remove exemptions for outstanding schools, announced by the Department for Education in October, was welcomed by the Association of School and College Leaders, while the National Education Union said outstanding schools should never have been treated differently.

Ofsted's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said: “We had long called for the exemption for outstanding schools to be lifted.

"I am very pleased that all schools will now be inspected routinely once our full inspection programme restarts this autumn. This is what parents expect and children deserve.

“This change will reassure parents and ensure that the outstanding judgement itself remains a genuine beacon of excellence.”

All formerly exempt schools must be inspected within the next five years and Ofsted will prioritise schools that have gone the longest without an inspection.