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Ofsted Newsletter
December 4, 2019


All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated HMI details for the South West region.
Ofsted publications during pre-election period – Information about what Ofsted will publish during the pre-election period, running from November 6 to December 13 2019.

Inspectorates of British schools overseas: annual Ofsted report – Our annual report on the quality of inspection work by the inspectorates of British schools overseas in the academic year 2017/18.
School inspection handbook – Updated with minor changes following the launch of the education inspection framework (EIF).
Section 8 school inspection handbook – Updated with minor changes following the launch of the EIF.
School inspection update: academic year 2019 to 2020 – Added the November 2019 edition of the school inspection update newsletter. This is the first edition since the rollout of the EIF. It focuses on the minor changes to section 5 and section 8 handbooks following the first two months under EIF. A summary of the changes is included and the edition also includes information on the release of key stage 4 checking data.
School inspection data summary report (IDSR) guide – Added IDSR guidance for secondary schools.
Official Statistics: Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes in England: August 2019 – Provisional data for the period September 2018 to August 2019 and revised data for the period September 2017 to August 2018.
Official Statistics: State-funded schools inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 – Provisional data for the period April to August 2019 and revised data for the period September 2018 to March 2019.

Social care
Social care questionnaires 2019: what children and young people told Ofsted – We use questionnaires to capture views about social care settings, including children’s homes, boarding schools and living with foster carers and adopters. This is the fifth year that we have published data and a report about the survey responses.
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the social care privacy notice to include references and links to the Care Inspectorate Wales.
Ofsted annual fostering data collection – Added note on the changes to the data collection template and the portal for 2019 to 2021.
Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): Minor updates to different sections of the SCCIF:

National Statistics: Fostering in England 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – Fostering in England statistics for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
Register as a children’s social care provider or manager – Added links to Ofsted’s personal information charter and social care privacy notice.
Official Statistics: Local authority and children’s homes in England inspections and outcomes – autumn 2019 – Local authority inspection data and children’s homes inspection data, covering the period up until 31 August 2019.

Further education and skills
Research into further education subcontracting launched – Ofsted is launching a new research project to look at the subcontracting landscape within further education.
Official Statistics: Further education and skills inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 – Data for inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 including data for inspections carried out between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019.
Using Ofsted’s inspection data summary report (IDSR): 16 to 19 – Added ‘Example 16 to 19 inspection data summary report’ for 2019.

Early years and childcare
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the section ‘Who we might share your data with’ in the Childcare: Ofsted privacy notice to include childminder agencies that you apply to work for.
Ofsted education blog post: early reading and the education inspection framework – Gill Jones, our Deputy Director for Early Education, sets out how we look at early reading and phonics teaching as part of our new inspections.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated addresses as at 31 October 2019.

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ESFA Update: 27 November 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.


ESFA Update further education: 27 November 2019

ESFA Update local authorities: 27 November 2019

Items for further education
Actionadult education budget, 19 to 24 traineeships and 16 to 18 traineeships, review point 1
Remindersubcontractor declaration for adult delivery, including apprenticeships and traineeships, and for the first time, for 16 to 19 provision
Informationrequesting a 19 to 24 traineeship allocation for the 2019 to 2020 funding year deadline
Information2018 to 2019 final reconciliation statements
Informationcontract capping release, over-delivery, for 2018 to 2019
Informationtraining providers helping to test the apprenticeship service
Items for local authorities
Actionadult education budget, 19 to 24 traineeships and 16 to 18 traineeships, review point 1
Informationgrowth and falling rolls fund guidance for 2020 to 2021

Please note, there is no academies edition of Update this week

Published 27 November 2019

The Six Qualities That Will Get People Hired
December 4, 2019

ARTICLE BY: Laura Holden, Communications Executive – Reed Online Ltd 


We know from our work here at Prisoners of Conscience that as roles continue to evolve, those responsible for hiring are placing greater importance on transferable soft skills. They see them as assets that retain their value. This is why, in addition to our bursary fund which helps persecuted human rights defenders to requalify in the UK, we have also launched an employability panel that is designed to support the development of these important personal qualities.

Research backs this up. According to the latest 2020 Salary Guide from the recruitment consultancy, Robert Half, 57% of hiring managers give more weight to soft skills when making a hiring decision.

Victoria Sprott, international talent director at Robert Half, confirms: “Having the right technical skills and qualifications is essential, but it’s your soft skills that will set you apart from other jobseekers.”

We wanted to know more about which soft skills were deemed important, so we asked leading recruiters for their views. They told us that although there will be some variations depending on the role and sector someone is applying to, generally speaking, the following attributes are high in demand


Proactivity – or what can also be described as “gumption” – was named by all the recruiters as a must.

“If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t wait to be told what to do, then it’s likely you’re ticking off one of the key attributes employers look for. Taking the initiative in work situations, such as leading a meeting or prioritising your to do list effectively, will show your boss that you’re able to work independently and unprompted”, says Laura Holden, Communications Executive at Reed Online Ltd.


Another sought-after skill is the ability to be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of the organisation.

“It’s important that you’re able to adapt quickly and remain resilient to any changes that might occur within your department, or even just your daily tasks. Whether this involves helping out colleagues in other parts of the business, or being able to prioritise your workload to accommodate a new project – having a ‘can-do’ attitude will definitely put you in good stead with new employers,” says Reed’s Holden.

The team at Charity Job agrees. Their spokesperson highlighted how when you work in the charity sector you can spend every day with some of society’s most vulnerable people, which can take “a certain sort of drive”. “More often than not, you’re working with limited resources and funding. You need to think creatively to bring in funds and be adaptable if those goals aren’t met,” they said.


An article about soft skills would not be worth its salt if it didn’t mention communication skills. Indeed, all of the recruiters we spoke to said that effective communication was essential for any type of job.

“Hiring managers value excellent verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills in candidates as it allows them to successfully convey important information, ideas and opinions to stakeholders at all levels of the business,” says Sprott at Robert Half, before adding how “effective communication skills can strengthen business relationships and improve productivity and teamwork.”

Brian Dwane, managing director at Broadstone Resourcing, concurred, emphasising how even in roles that have traditionally been seen as a support function, the ability to communicate is critical.

“Accountancy used to be about sitting in an office and dealing with spreadsheets, but these days many accountancy roles are going down the business partnering route, which is about driving the organisation forward, liaising with others, and explaining complex financial information in a way that everyone within the business will understand, particularly those with no finance experience,” he said.

4. Business sense 

Business acumen is also a highly desired quality that employers look for in new recruits.

“Professionals with strong commercial awareness of the business environment, industry and market trends, who are able to recognise new opportunities and proactively leverage their insights to gain competitive advantage are sought after,” says Robert Half’s Sprott.

5. Empathy

Just as the world of work is changing quickly, so too are people’s career motivations.

“With things such as the climate crisis and mental health at the forefront of our daily lives, we want more from our jobs than just a pay cheque — we want purpose and passion, and we want to leave a positive imprint for the generations that come after us”, says the Charity Job spokesperson, adding how this means that being able to demonstrate tact and sensitivity towards colleagues and customers can pay dividends.

Broadstone Resourcing’s Dwane agrees. “Empathy is vital. A business isn’t just the numbers, or the products or the sales targets. It’s crucial that all employees can see a business for what it is – its people – which means having empathy for those you work with.”

6. Mindset matters 

Finally, businesses value a positive mindset. A person with the right mindset is seven times more valuable to their company than a regular employee, according to research by Reed.

“We get it – not everyone is a ‘glass half full’ kind of person – but being mindful of your wording, and trying to focus on the positives, will show any employer that you’re willing to look for the best outcome in situations,” confirms Reed Online’s Holden.

A positive mindset is certainly a quality that our bursary grantees demonstrate. The funding we provide allows these courageous.