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Ofsted News – Issue 94 – September 2020
October 1, 2020
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Sections

COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Press release: Ofsted visits to schools and colleges to begin this month – Ofsted will be visiting schools and further education and skills providers this autumn term.
Press release: Ofsted support for area SEND arrangements this autumn term – Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will start carrying out visits to local areas from October.
Interim phase: area SEND – An operational note for Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) and CQC inspectors carrying out interim visits to local areas regarding their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) arrangements from October 2020.
Complaints procedure – Updated to reflect changes to the ‘Complaints about Ofsted’ process.
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the ‘How long we keep personal data’ section of the further education and skills, initial teacher education and schools privacy notices.
Ofsted pen portraits of HMIs – Updated HMI details for the South West region.

Schools
Press release: School governors and trustees say they are prepared for COVID impact – Ofsted and the National Governance Association (NGA) publish a study that shows that the business of school governance has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the report online.
Interim phase: maintained schools and academies – An operational note for inspectors carrying out interim visits to state-funded schools from 28 September 2020.
Interim phase: non-association independent schools – An operational note for inspectors carrying out inspections of non-association independent schools from 21 September 2020.
Inspectors talking to pupils on inspection – Guidance for inspectors on talking to pupils during school inspections.
Inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics in schools – Guidance for inspectors on inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics during school inspections.
Separation by sex: implications for inspections of mixed-sex/co-educational schools – Guidance for inspectors when they find separation by sex on an inspection.
Additional inspections of independent schools: handbook for inspectors – Updated for use from September 2020 to reflect Ofsted’s interim assurance phase and changes to post-inspection practice.
Inspecting non-association independent schools – Updated section ‘After the inspection’ with amended timescales and updated all leaflets on the page.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 August 2020. Also published a one-off publication of inspection outcomes from 2015 to 2019. It shows outcomes of inspections up to the point of the introduction of the education inspection framework in September 2019. Most of the data has been published previously in various publications over the years, but it has been collated in to a single file to make it easier to use for further analysis.
Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2020.

Children’s social care
Inspecting local authority children’s services from 2018 – In the section on ILACS focused visits during the restart of routine inspection, we added information about identifying areas for priority action and two items to the information requested.
Fostering and adoption agency datasets – Published data as at 31 March 2020.

Further education and skills
Interim phase: further education and skills providers – An operational note for HMIs carrying out interim visits and new provider monitoring visits to further education and skills providers from 28 September 2020.
Press release: Ofsted seeks to make oversight of subcontractors more comprehensive and transparent – Ofsted has published new research looking at subcontractors in the further education and skills sector. You can read the report online.
Ofsted’s education blog: ‘We’re not here to make life difficult’: our further education and skills visits – Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, discusses our further education and skills pilot visits.
Welfare and duty of care in Armed Forces initial training – Ofsted’s annual report 2019 to 2020 on the effectiveness of welfare and duty of care for recruits and trainees in Armed Forces initial training.
Inspecting initial training for the Armed Forces – Ofsted guidance for inspectors about how to inspect initial training for the Armed Forces relating to welfare and duty of care.
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from September 2019 to August 2020 – Uploaded inspection data as at 31 August 2020.

Early years and childcare
Report a serious childcare incident – Added information about reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any related closures.
Childcare: reporting children’s accidents and injuries – Added the requirement to notify Ofsted of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or children.
Education plans from September 2020 – Updated guide: Ofsted’s inspection of providers on the Childcare Register will resume from 16 September.
Carrying out Childcare Register inspections – Changes to the ‘After the inspection’ section to reflect new timescales.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 August 2020.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Published data on joiners and leavers in the childcare sector in August 2020.

Ofsted Seeks to Make Oversight of Subcontractors More Comprehensive and Transparent

Ofsted has published new research looking at subcontractors in the further education and skills sector.

New research by Ofsted finds that subcontractors in the further education and skills (FES) sector often have overall control of the day-to-day quality of a learner’s education and training. However, directly-funded providers do not always exert enough influence to manage the subcontracted provision well. For example, they might not have the necessary subject or industry expertise to review provision meaningfully.

The research also found that the current approach to inspection means that some subcontractors are visited more than once, while others are not visited at all.

While Ofsted is not funded to directly inspect subcontractors, the research proposes a more comprehensive and transparent approach to improve oversight.

The report, ‘Subcontracting in further education and skills’, recognises the acute economic challenges FES providers are facing as a result of COVID-19, as well as the broader decline in subcontracted provision over recent years. It explores what makes for high-quality FES provision delivered through subcontracting and asks how inspection and regulation might need to adapt as a result of a rapidly evolving landscape.

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting the quality of education offered by directly-funded FES providers, but inspectors do not report on all subcontracted provision. However, the inspectorate has increased its focus on subcontracting over the past 2 years, in response to concerns about the quality of some subcontractors.

Currently, Ofsted inspections give a rounded judgement of a directly- funded provider by sampling activities across the provision. The choice of subcontractors to sample is made within practical constraints, such as their location. These activities then inform the leadership and management judgement of the directly- funded provider and, where appropriate, the quality of education judgement.

The report suggests there are limitations to this approach and concludes that the oversight of subcontracted education could be improved by sampling more subcontracted provision. Therefore, Ofsted is seeking to make inspecting and reporting on subcontracted provision more comprehensive and transparent by:

  • working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to improve access to timely and accurate data on the number and size of subcontracting arrangements held by a directly-funded provider
  • increasing awareness among inspectors of Ofsted’s available inspection resource, in order to investigate more subcontractors
  • changing the way evidence is recorded to systematically and consistently include information about all subcontractors visited
  • where appropriate, highlighting more subcontractors in inspection reports

In particular, more accurate data from the ESFA would allow Ofsted to arrange to visit subcontracted provision that was far away, because out-of-region resources could be factored into planning.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:

The financial stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and ESFA’s tighter regulations around subcontracting make this an important and timely report. Over the past two years we have increased our focus on the management of subcontracted provision. However, this new research has highlighted the importance of reviewing subcontractors within our current model.

We are open to exploring how we could directly inspect subcontractors in the future, but that would need significantly more financial resource and better data. So, for now we will continue to inspect subcontractors as part of our inspections of directly-funded providers. But I’m confident that the changes set out in today’s report will make our oversight more meaningful and transparent.

The report is based on visits to 14 subcontractors in November and December last year; focus groups with 38 inspectors; and desk-based analysis of inspection reports and evidence bases, as well as other publicly available data on subcontracting.

Ofsted News – Issue 93 – August 2020
September 1, 2020
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Sections

COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Ofsted statement on new Ofqual board committee – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) Amanda Spielman will chair a new board committee at Ofqual until the end of 2020.
Deferring Ofsted inspections – Updated what the policy applies to and information about deferrals due to COVID-19.
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated South East and North East, Yorkshire and Humber HMI pen portraits.

Schools
Inspections of unregistered schools: guidance for inspectors – Handbook updated throughout to reflect current arrangements for inspecting unregistered schools.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2020 and updated the release schedule to include the upcoming publication date.
Changes to Ofsted’s statistical reporting of inspection outcomes for state-funded schools: an analysis of the changes – Replaced the document ‘Changes to Ofsted’s statistical reporting of inspection outcomes for state-funded schools: historical datasets’. The total number of pupils on the 31 August 2016 tab was from 2017. The dataset has been updated to correctly show the total number of pupils from 2016. For the vast majority of schools, the difference in the number of pupils shown is minor.
Initial teacher education: inspections and outcomes as at 30 June 2020 – Official statistics covering outcomes from initial teacher education inspections in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. We have also included a glossary of terms for this.

Children’s social care
Press release: Ofsted to visit local authorities and children’s social care providers – Ofsted will begin visits to local authorities and children’s social care providers from September 2020.
Social care plans from September 2020 – Updated with information about assurance visits that Ofsted will carry out from September 2020. There is more detailed guidance on assurance visits on the relevant pages for:

Ofsted’s social care blog: Children’s social care visits: what to expect – Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care, talks about our children’s social care visits that will start this autumn.
Inspection outcomes of children’s homes – Uploaded children’s homes management information for inspections carried out between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020. Also updated the release schedule for 2020.

Further education and skills
No updates this month other than information in our COVID-19 rolling update relating to further education and skills.

Early years and childcare
News story: Ofsted to visit nurseries and childminders this autumn – Ofsted will start carrying out visits to some nurseries and childminders from September 2020.
Education plans from September 2020 – Updated details of early years interim visits and added link to new early years operational note.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Management information aggregating monthly joiners and leavers on our registers. A time-series of joiners and leavers includes data since April 2020.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 July 2020.

Ofsted News – Issue 91 – June 2020
July 2, 2020
0

Sections

COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated HMI pen portraits for the South East, North West, West Midlands and London.

Schools
New teacher training inspections to focus on the initial teacher education (ITE) curriculum – Ofsted publishes a new ITE framework and handbook bringing ITE inspections in line with the education inspection framework (EIF). The outcome of the recent consultation and an updated equality, diversity and inclusion statement have also been published.
Ofsted wins landmark prosecution case of school that breached conditions – A school, prohibited from admitting more students, was found in breach of its operating conditions and fined at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 27 May.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 May 2020.

Children’s social care
What Ofsted means by a serious incident – Guidance for social care providers on what we mean by a serious incident and what you need to tell us about. We have also updated the ‘reporting an incident’ paper forms to online forms.
Register as a provider of children’s social care services – Removed the ‘Social care online applications: information for applicants’ document as the guidance is no longer relevant. This follows the release of updated SC1SC2 and SC3 forms.
Ofsted’s social care blog: Secure children’s homes – helping the most vulnerable children – Ofsted’s Senior Officer for the Secure Estate, Shaun Common, discusses secure children’s homes.

Further education and skills
News story: Ofsted to review students’ and apprentices’ online further education experience – Ofsted is carrying out an exploratory review of the quality of learners’ experiences of online education in further education and skills settings during the COVID-19-affected summer term.
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes as at 29 February 2020 – Data for inspections and outcomes as at 29 February 2020 including data for inspections carried out between 1 September 2019 and 29 February 2020.

Early years and childcare
Childminders: tell Ofsted about adults leaving the home – You must tell Ofsted when anyone aged 16 or over stops living or working in the home where you look after children.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 May 2020.
Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 March 2020 – This release includes registered childcare providers and places, inspection outcomes, and joiners and leavers as at 31 March 2020.

Ofsted to Review Students’ and Apprentices’ Online Further Education Experience
June 4, 2020
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Ofsted is carrying out an exploratory review of the quality of learners’ experiences of online education in further education and skills settings during the COVID-19-affected summer term.

Smiling girl with coffee cup

Ofsted is working with the Department for Education (DfE), the Association of Colleges (AoC), the Association of Employer and Learning Providers (AELP) and HOLEX to review further education learners’ experience of online learning during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown.

The review aims to provide insights into the sector’s experiences of online education and to identify areas of strength and potential for improvement. This will support post-16 providers re-visiting their online education strategies, particularly from September 2020 onwards. The review will look at the online education that providers are delivering in light of the necessary social distancing measures

Her Majesty’s Inspectors will carry out the review during June and will speak remotely to managers, teachers and trainers in volunteer further education colleges and skills providers to discuss their delivery of online teaching and learning.

In particular, inspectors will speak to students and apprentices about their experience of learning online and the support they have received for this. This will be done by phone and a report on the findings will be published in due course.

The review is not an inspection. There will be no inspection judgements and no inspection consequences for the provider. Involvement in the review is entirely voluntary.

Data gathered during the review will be confidential and staff, students and apprentices will not be identified.

Ofsted News – Issue 89 – April 2020
May 1, 2020
0

Sections

COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to coronavirus for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly.

All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated HMI pen portraits for each region.

Schools
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Added management information as at 31 March 2020 and updated release schedule.

Social care
No updates this month other than information in our COVID-19 rolling update relating to children’s social care inspection and regulation.

Further education and skills
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information – Added inspection data as at 31 March 2020.

Early years and childcare
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 March 2020.

Ofsted Pauses all Inspection Activity
March 17, 2020
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All routine Ofsted inspections will now be put on hold, Schools Week has revealed.

The watchdog has halted inspections following prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on 16th March to scale up coronavirus prevention measures.

An Ofsted spokesperson told Schools Week they are “putting a hold on all this week’s routine inspections of schools, social care, early years and further education providers.

“We are in discussions with the DfE about the longer-term picture.”

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “I’m grateful for the Secretary of State’s permission to suspend routine inspections.

Ofsted boss pauses all inspection activity

“It’s clearly the right thing to do when teachers and social workers are under pressure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. We all need to support them in their work.”

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said he recognises that teachers are “on the frontline of our national effort” and given the pressures on education leaders and their staff, “it is only right that Ofsted temporarily suspends its routine inspection timetable”.

He added that current medical and scientific guidance “indicates that at this stage, schools and other educational settings should remain open”.

However, he said that “if there comes a point when the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser tell us that closing schools [and colleges] would be in the best interests of children and teachers, we will take this step”.

The only exception to Ofsted’s inspection pause is if its team “has identified concerns about safeguarding arrangements at the provider”.

If this occurs, inspectors have been “asked to seek advice from Ofsted senior managers to inform the decision to progress, or not, with the inspection”.

A statement from Ofsted added: “For absolute clarity, all monitoring visits and inspections that have started (i.e. those that commenced yesterday), have been stopped and inspectors will not return to provider premises today.

“Providers that have been notified that inspection will commence today or later this week will not now happen. Providers are being contacted to inform them of these decisions.

“Ofsted will be discussing with the DfE as a priority what this new guidance means to our planned inspection activity over the coming weeks and months, and it will update providers as soon as it has clarity.”

Ofsted News: Issue 87 – February 2020
March 2, 2020
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Sections

All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – We have updated some of the North West and West Midlands HMI pen portraits. 

Schools
School inspection data summary report (IDSR) guide – Updated to include: final 2019 early years foundation stage (EYFS) information, supporting tables with revised key stage 2 information, data for disadvantaged pupils, and a new master list of all 2019 areas of interest sentences. 
Statistical data set: Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 December 2019.
Statistical data set: State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 January 2020.
Blog post: Curriculum transition extended for a year – Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Education, talks about our curriculum transition arrangements and announces an extension.
Commentary on school funding – Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, provides a commentary on what we found in our research into school funding and its impact on education. You can read our full report on this research: ‘Making the cut: how schools respond when they are under financial pressure’. This report summarises the findings from a qualitative research project we carried out in 2018–19. 
Statistical data set: Ofsted Parent View: management information – Published management information as at 6 January 2020.

Social care
Blog post – adoption: Let’s prioritise children, whatever their needs – Yvette Stanley, Director, Social Care, talks about how policy and practice have to make sure that all children receive the right support at the right time. 
Unseen evil: sex abuse in families going under the radar, say inspectorates – We published a joint report (with the Care Quality Commission, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and HMI Probation). The report explains our findings from joint targeted area inspections of ‘The multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment’
Ofsted launches point-in-time surveys – We have sent surveys to social care providers to find out about the experiences of the children, parents, staff and professionals involved. We have also published guidance about distributing the 2020 annual surveys and a promotional poster that providers can use.
Transparency data: Inspection outcomes of children’s homes – Published children’s homes management information for inspections carried out between 1 September 2019 and 31 December 2019.
Commentary: creating the environment for excellence in residential practice – Yvette Stanley shares what a sample of consistently good and outstanding children’s homes do to maintain their success.
National Statistics: Fostering in England 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – Note added to ‘Fostering data in England 2018-19’ to clarify what we include in the number of households approved in year.
Joint inspections of child exploitation – Minor update. Timeline in Annex A updated to show 10 working days’ notification before fieldwork. Also updated evaluative questions in the tool for tracking children’s experiences in Annex B.

Further education and skills
Blog post: Apprenticeships and the skills gap post-Brexit – Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, Paul Joyce, talks about apprenticeships and the skills gap post-Brexit. 
Statistical data set: Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from September 2019 to August 2020 – Published inspection data as at 31 January 2020.

Early years and childcare
Non-compliance with the Early Years and Childcare Registers – An explanation of what happens to those judged inadequate on the Early Years Register and those not meeting registration requirements on the Childcare Register. 
Pay your Ofsted annual registration fee by direct debit – On this page, you can download and complete the direct debit form to pay your Ofsted annual registration fee.
Transparency data: Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 January 2020.
Report a serious childcare incident – Ofsted-registered childminders, nannies, nurseries and other daycare must use this service to report significant events affecting their childcare within 14 days.
Providing childcare and the 2-hour rule – Find out how you can still register with Ofsted if you provide childcare immediately before or after school for less than 2 hours in a day.
Childcare: reporting children’s accidents and injuries – Find out whether you need to tell Ofsted about an accident, injury or illness a child suffers while in your care.
Apply to register as a childminder – You must apply to register with Ofsted if you want to look after other people’s children in your home or someone else’s home. This page explains the process.
Apply to register as a nanny – You can apply to register as a nanny, including as an au pair, with Ofsted if you want to look after other people’s children in their home. This page explains the process.
Childminders: report new adults in the home – You must tell Ofsted about new people aged 16 or over who live or work in the home you look after children in within 14 days. This includes children who turn 16. This page explains the process.
Carrying out Childcare Register inspections – This guidance is for Ofsted inspectors carrying out inspections of providers that are only registered on either or both parts of the Childcare Register. We publish it on our website to be transparent. 

Ofsted
February 18, 2020
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Ofsted Newsletter
February 3, 2020
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