Ofsted’s proposed inspection changes – Friday 12 October 2018

This week I report on Ofsted’s Chief Inspector’s keynote speech at the SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit on the reasoning behind the proposals for the 2019 education inspection framework, the launch of Opportunity North East, a £24 million programme to boost social mobility and raise aspirations and the publication of a DfE report on the information schools provide to support their pupils’ wellbeing and mental health.

Amanda Spielman speech to the SCHOOLS NorthEast summit
At yesterday’s SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit Ofsted’s Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman announced details of planned changes to the way Ofsted inspects schools from September 2019. These changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look instead at how schools are achieving these results, and whether they are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep, or simply teaching to the test.

Ms Spielman acknowledged that the current inspection model has contributed to excessive workload in some schools, much of which falls on classroom teachers. She said that when it comes to assessing a school, Ofsted should complement, rather than intensify, performance data.

Ms Spielman announced that Ofsted will consult on the introduction of a new judgement for ‘quality of education’. This will replace the current ‘outcomes for pupils’ and ‘teaching, learning and assessment’ judgements with a broader, single judgement. The Chief Inspector also announced the three other inspection judgements that Ofsted will consult on:

  • personal development
  • behaviour and attitudes
  • schools’ leadership and management

The ‘personal development, welfare and behaviour’ judgement in the current framework will be split into 2 distinct areas. This change recognises the difference between behaviour and discipline in schools, and pupils’ wider personal development and their opportunities to grow as active, healthy and engaged citizens.

An overall effectiveness judgement will continue to be awarded, and all judgements will be made using the current 4 point grading scale.

In January, Ofsted will launch a consultation on the new inspection framework. Unlike previous consultations, views will also be sought on each individual inspection handbook. Further details of the consultation and how to respond will be published early next year.

Education Secretary launches £24 million programme for North East
On Monday the Education Secretary Damian Hinds launched Opportunity North East, pledging £24 million to boost social mobility and raise aspirations for children. It will aim to:

  • invest £12 million in targeted approaches to improve the transition from primary to secondary school, drive up standards (particularly at secondary level) and improve outcomes for pupils post 16;
  • work with secondary schools and colleges to encourage young people to consider university, degree apprenticeships and other high quality technical education options;
  • partner with local businesses to improve job prospects for young people across the region;
  • invest a further £12 million to boost early career training for new teachers and help improve the quality of teaching and raise standards in the region’s schools, ahead of roll-out in other regions.

Report on Mental health and wellbeing provision on schools
The DfE has published a report on a study it commissioned to further understanding of the extent the current content of schools’ published policies and other information demonstrates relevant approaches and activities.

This evidence will be used to inform decisions about how schools can best be supported to use existing requirements to strengthen their work in these areas and better meet their statutory duties.