Schoolzone blog: Ofsted framework reform

Ofsted framework reform... please!


10 Oct 2014


Before you get your hopes up, this isn't as exciting as it sounds. Schoolzone have bravely scrutinised the consultation document so that you don't have to.

And it's not definite yet. Ofsted want your feedback on these suggestions: but please read the full consultation before doing so - this is just to whet your appetite, and we have foregone our usual commentary so as not to influence your feedback...

A common inspection framework

While there will still be different frameworks for different age ranges, the settings within each age range will be inspected within the same framework.

Remits – each will have its own handbook – currently the framework makes specific exemptions and provisions for each, so the new one should make it easier for schools to identify which elements are relevant to them:

  • Early years settings on the Early Years Register
  • Maintained schools
  • Academies
  • Non-association independent schools
  • FE and skills providers

There will be greater emphasis on:

  • Safeguarding
  • The suitability of the curriculum and the type and range of courses and opportunities offered by providers
  • Preparation for life and work in Britain today, including in relation to personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Four areas for inspection within the framework - graded as now, Outstanding etc – italics show main differences:

1. Effectiveness of leadership and management (including safeguarding)

  • Ambitious vision; high expectations; high standards of care, quality and performance
  • Performance management; professional development
  • Self-assessment; capacity for sustainable improvement
  • Curriculum provision and its management
  • Equality; diversity and fundamental British values
  • Working directly with other providers and employers
  • Child protection and welfare

2. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

  • High expectations for all abilities
  • Positive ethos, sense of achievement and commitment to learning
  • Understanding of the age group; subject knowledge and communication
  • Assessment information: informed by parents and previous schools
  • Assessment information used to plan
  • Teacher feedback helps learners understand how to improve
  • Reporting engages parents
  • Teaching to promote equality and diversity
  • English, mathematics and other skills necessary to function as an economically active member of today’s British society

3. Personal development, behaviour and welfare

  • Attendance, at school and lessons
  • Following behaviour guidelines
  • Personal safety, including from exploitation and extremism, internet and social medial
  • Cultural and work experience; personal, social, moral and spiritual development
  • Healthy eating and exercise
  • Self-confidence; self-assurance; understanding potential
  • Careers advice and choices about the next stage of education
  • Employability skills

4. Outcomes for children and learners (was achievement)

  • Commentary on published performance data
  • Progression from students’ different starting points.

A new emphasis on subjects (and aspects or themes) – not graded, but to allow broader picture reporting.


Short inspections for Good schools

  • Once every three years unless performance has dropped markedly
  • No more than two inspectors on site for one day
  • Inspectors will consider:
    • the performance of the school
    • leadership and management, including of the teaching, the curriculum and the ethos of the school
  • If no concerns, the only reporting is a letter to parents
  • If significant concerns, a full inspection could be called
  • If the school appears to be possibly Outstanding, a full inspection could be called
  • Does not apply to Early Years
  • No change for schools judged as requires improvement or inadequate.

Independent schools

  • Revised, more challenging inspections already underway
  • All non-association schools to be inspected within three years
  • Those graded as requires improvement or inadequate, every two years.

Read the full consultation here





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