We decided to convert each included foundation’s score into a grade, in order to make the results easy to digest. We chose to have a system of four grades – from A (the top) to D. We have four grades partly because various UK public sector rating/quality assessment systems have four (e.g. Ofsted’s ratings of schools, HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ system has four, the Care Quality Commission). We chose A-D because they are easy to understand.

We publish each foundation’s grade on each domain but not their numerical scores. This is to prevent a ranking being constructed from the data, which we feel would be unhelpful for the reasons given earlier.

We decided not to take an average of the three domains for the overall score, we felt this would not be fair. An excellent score (A), requires a certain level of achievement in all three areas, rather than an outstanding score in one or two areas. This is not unusual; e.g. Ofsted if a school is rated as ‘inadequate’ on any of the four domains of criteria that Ofsted assesses, it will be ‘inadequate’ overall. In other words, a school’s overall rating will not be higher than its lowest ‘domain score’[1]. 

We use the same principle. If a foundation scores badly on any domain, it cannot be said to be excellent and to warrant a high rating overall.

Please see an example below:


Foundation D grade A grade T grade Rating  based on the numerical average of its domain scores Actual overall grade Reason
1 A B A A A Lowest grade (B) raised by one is the same as simple average
2 A C A A B Lowest grade (C) raised by one is B, which is lower than average score
3 B B B B B Simple average is a B, and there is no reason to lower it
4 D A A B C The lowest grade (D) raised by one is a C which is lower than the simple average (B). This foundation is dragged downwards by its poor performance on diversity

[1] Ofsted (2021), School inspection handbook: accessed at [10 January 2022]