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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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Research into Further Education Subcontracting Launched
November 7, 2019

Ofsted is launching a new research project to look at the subcontracting landscape within further education #FE

Subcontracting remains a popular option for FE providers. Last academic year, subcontracting accounted for around £650 million in government funding on adult learning and apprenticeship provision and also fully or partially funded courses for over 25,000 students aged 16 to 19 at hundreds of subcontractors.

Most FE providers were judged as good or outstanding at their last inspection. Since February 2018, we have increased our focus on the management and quality of subcontracted provision during inspections, and this increased focus continues in our new education inspection framework (EIF).

A subcontractor’s offering cannot be disentangled from the contract agreed with the main provider. Therefore, we place responsibility for learners’ experiences on the main provider and do not directly inspect standalone subcontractors. This research will explore the relationship between the main provider’s contracting arrangements and the quality of provision offered by subcontractors.

The aims of our new research are to learn more about the subcontracting landscape and the impact that a contract between a main provider and subcontractor can have on the learning experience. The research will also inform how we inspect main providers that choose to use subcontracted provision.

This autumn, we will carry out pre-arranged visits to a variety of subcontractors that have contracts with FE providers we’ve recently inspected. At the same time, we will examine our previous inspection reports for references to subcontracting, and hold focus groups with inspectors about the process of evaluating subcontracted learning.

Visits are not inspections and will not result in a written report for the subcontractor.

Ofsted Deputy Director, Further Education and Skills, Paul Joyce, said:

We made a commitment to increase our focus on subcontracting, which remains a major part of the FE landscape. I hope this research will give us more insight into the experience learners get at a provider, which in turn will help us refine this part of our inspection work.

We will work with subcontractors who take part in the research to make sure we do not place an additional burden on staff. All visits will be carried out purely for research purposes and will not double up as inspections. This research is part of our commitment to be a force for improvement in the sectors we inspect, and to make sure that everything we do is supported by evidence.

Ofsted News: Issue 84 – October 2019
November 4, 2019

See the latest Ofsted Newsletter below.


All Ofsted
Ofsted’s education blog: What is peer-on-peer abuse? – Ofsted’s Sean Harford, National Director for Education, and Yvette Stanley, National Director for Social Care, discuss peer-on-peer abuse: what it is, what schools should be doing when it happens and how we’ve trained our inspectors to recognise it.
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated the national lead for mathematics – Emma Gregory.

Three convicted of running an illegal school – Local authorities were misled into paying thousands of pounds of public money for children to be educated in an unsafe unregistered school, following Ofsted’s investigation.
Home education: a choice or last resort? – Home education is often being chosen by parents of children with complex needs as a last resort. Read our full home education report.
HMCI commentary: the initial teacher education (ITE) curriculum – Ofsted’s Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, discusses upcoming changes to how we inspect ITE partnerships. Read our ITE curriculum literature review.
Ofsted’s education blog: ‘Deep diving’ in small schools – Mike Sheridan, Ofsted’s Regional Director for London, talks about the new education inspection framework (EIF) and how we’ll inspect the curriculum in the smallest schools.
Video: Matthew Purves and James Bowen in conversation – Matthew Purves, Ofsted’s Deputy Director, Schools, talks with James Bowen, Director of NAHT Edge, about school inspection and deep dives.
School inspection data summary report (IDSR) guide – This guide gives an overview of the data contained in the primary IDSR and information to help interpret the charts.
Inspecting non-association independent schools – Updated guidance with details of the EIF.
Independent schools inspection handbook – Updated with minor changes following the launch of the EIF.
Additional inspections of independent schools: handbook for inspectors – Minor updates to reflect the EIF and independent schools handbook.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 30 September 2019. Also, updated table one on the excel files for June, July and August 2019 to correct the percentage of schools at each overall effective grade for North East, Yorkshire and the Humber.

Social care
Surveillance and monitoring in residential childcare settings – Information for providers and managers on the use of surveillance, including CCTV, in their residential childcare settings and how Ofsted will evaluate its use.
Ofsted’s social care blog: The Care Experienced Conference – Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, discusses the Care Experienced Conference reports.
Ofsted’s social care blog: Kinship care: what are the issues? – Yvette Stanley reflects on two recent survey reports of kinship carers’ views.
Ofsted’s social care blog: National Adoption Week 2019 – a time for celebration, and reflection – Yvette Stanley talks about the importance of adoption and how we look at it on our inspections.

Further education and skills
What does the new education inspection framework mean for further education and skills providers? – Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, Paul Joyce, talks about what the new EIF means for further education and skills providers.

Early years and childcare
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 30 September 2019.
Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 March 2019 – The Excel charts and tables file has been republished for this release. A minor change has been made in the underlying formulae in Table 2. This corrects an error affecting the filters for this table. This amendment has not changed the underlying data for this release. This is also the case for the 31 August 2018 release and the 31 December 2018 release.

What to Expect Under the New Framework when an Ofsted Inspectors Calls
October 29, 2019

By SIMON ASHWORTH chief policy officer, Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

Ofsted’s new-style inspections have been much publicised, but some AELP members have been surprised by the new format. Simon Ashworth sets out what providers should expect and how to prepare.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has been hearing from its members that inspections under Ofsted’s new framework (EIF) was not what they expected and differed to what they had previously seen. Their comments echo those of Woodspeen Training in FE Week that the EIF represents “a pretty significant shift in focus”. So what are the main changes and how can providers be ready for them?

First, far less of the inspection process will be channelled through the nominee. The inspection team will instead work with the key individuals responsible for “curriculum areas”, which we believe is a really positive change.  

Second, Ofsted will review the provider’s curriculum – and that doesn’t simply mean programme content or materials. Inspectors now want to look at the whole end-to-end process of the provider’s programmes; hence the importance of having strong curriculum leads who are prepared for the new process.

Effective “curriculum sequencing” will be inspected to ensure that the provider’s programme has been designed, structured and delivered coherently and logically. This becomes even more important for programmes where there is now more teaching and less assessment.  

A good example to consider is how providers who deliver training to level 2 apprentices plan for and deliver not only the level 1 functional skills, but also the current requirement to work towards and at least take the level 2 functional skills test. The short answer is that it should not be an afterthought bolted on at the end.

“Deep dive” inspections have now been added to the sector’s unrivalled liking for jargon. Much of the previous inspection activity was sometimes seen as operating in silos; for example inspectors would observe a class or hold a focus group with learners and report back on, say, teaching effectiveness. Under the deep dive regime, they may follow the journey of different learners all the way through their entire experience with the provider from recruitment to the preparation for end-point assessment.  

Data is less important, but from our discussions with Ofsted, providers should still be able to explain the reasons for their performance. With apprenticeships specifically, there is little comparable performance data for standards because of the move away from frameworks, so this is a sensible change. 

Nevertheless, one area of focus on is progression and destination data. A provider might have low achievement rates that look relatively poor on paper, but what is the story behind that? In the case of traineeships, qualification achievement rates might be low, because the learners left early as they got a job (one of the main aims of the programme) and didn’t have time to complete their maths and English qualifications as a result. Being able to articulate examples such as this is key to showing inspectors the whole picture.

On recognition of prior learning and off-the-job training, AELP is hearing reports of providers being misled and incorrectly advised to rip up their self-assessment reports (SARs) and quality improvement plans (QIPs) and rewrite these against the new EIF. Ofsted does not require this.

As providers move through their individual self-assessment cycle, they will naturally self-assess against the new framework. In the interim, it is worth considering the use of a positioning statement to sit alongside the SAR and QIP to help articulate to inspectors the transitional process and journey they are on.  

Remember that the SAR and the QIP are for the benefit of the provider and not a paper exercise to simply provide to Ofsted for inspection. Commensurately, Ofsted will place less emphasis on the accuracy of a SAR, but more on how effectively the provider uses the SAR and QIP to drive improvements. 

By understanding and preparing for these changes, a “deep dive” inspection should be limited to a few ripples rather than whipping up waves for providers.

Ofsted News: Issue 83 – September 2019
October 1, 2019

See the latest Ofsted Newsletter below.

The education inspection framework (EIF) is now in place. We have published updated copies of the following handbooks to support inspections under the new framework:

We have also updated the safeguarding guidance for inspectors to accompany the launch of the EIF.

What’s changing at Ofsted in autumn 2019? – A round-up of changes to some of the Ofsted services and GOV.UK pages.

HMCI commentary: managing behaviour research – Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, summarises our findings so far on managing behaviour in schools and our future projects.
Ofsted’s education blog: Prosecution means protection: investigating and prosecuting unregistered schools – Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Education, talks about our latest unregistered school prosecution and the work of our unregistered schools taskforce.
Presentation: EIF and deep dives – Matthew Purves, Ofsted’s Deputy Director, Schools Policy, gave this presentation on the EIF and deep dives at Herts Assessment’s conference on 23 September 2019.
School inspection update: academic year 2019 to 2020 – Updated the article on using progress 8 data.
Inspecting schools: guidance for parents – Updated to reflect the EIF.
Inspecting schools: guide for maintained and academy schools – Added the leaflet for maintained schools and academies to prepare for an inspection.
Selecting new schools for inspection – This guide gives a summary of how we select new schools to inspect, including free schools and academies.
Risk assessment methodology for maintained schools and academies – The method we use to assess when to inspect maintained schools and academies rated good or outstanding.
Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2019.
Using Ofsted’s inspection data summary report (IDSR): early years foundation stage profile to key stage 4 – Updated the details section and added new prototype for primary IDSRs.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 August 2019.

Social Care
Ofsted’s social care blog: Inspection of local authority children’s services (ILACS) implementation review – how are our children’s services inspections working? – Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, discusses how our children’s services inspections are working.
ILACS framework: implementation review – This report evaluates the extent to which the ILACS framework has been implemented as intended.
Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF) – Minor updates to all SCCIF handbooks including additional guidance for inspectors in the ‘Listening and talking to children and young people’ sections and updated guidance in the ‘Conduct during inspections’ sections.
Fostering and adoption agency datasets – Published dataset as at 31 March 2019.

Further Education and Skills
Risk assessment methodology for further education and skills providers – The method we use to assess when to inspect further education and skills providers rated good or outstanding.
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from September 2018 to August 2019 – Added management information as at 31 August 2019.

Early Years and Childcare
Accessibility statement: ‘register as a childminder’ service – This accessibility statement is for our ‘register as a childminder’ digital service.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 August 2019.

Ofsted Video
September 12, 2019

Matthew Purves, Deputy Director, Schools, gives a brief introduction to the Education Inspection Framework, launched September 2019.

What’s Changing at Ofsted in Autumn 2019?
September 4, 2019

There are a number of changes to some of the Ofsted services and GOV.UK pages. Here’s a round-up of these changes.

The new framework

The main change is that we have a new framework, which inspectors will be using in their work of inspecting early years settings, schools, FE and skills providers and independent schools. This will start at the beginning of September 2019. The education inspection framework will replace the common inspection framework – so please update any bookmarks or links you may be using.

There are also new guides for providers and school leaders on what to expect from an inspection, and how best to prepare.

Ofsted Parent View

From September 2019, we are updating what we ask in the Ofsted Parent View survey so that it links more closely to our new education inspection framework.

The survey continues to ask parents how strongly they agree or disagree with statements about their child’s school, though the focus of what we ask parents has changed.

We have removed and adapted some of the statements. We have also added new questions including a question for parents of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This reflects the new framework and responds to requests from parents for a question in this area.

Learner View and Employer View

Currently, both Learner View and Employer View are open all year round. From 2 September 2019, these surveys will be held on a new platform.

Currently, colleges and further education and apprenticeship training providers send a link to learners, employers, parents/carers of learners and provider staff during an Ofsted inspection so they can give their views on these surveys. This will not change. However, these surveys will now all only be open during an inspection.

We have reviewed and adapted the questions asked to make them more useful for learners and employers and better suited to the new inspection framework.

Finding our information

We will be keeping the content on GOV.UK about the previous framework and inspections until October 2019. After that, they will be available on the National Archive.

We will also be adding links on all relevant pages to the new guidance and handbooks. After October, we will redirect links and bookmarks to the new information.

We are also making sure that all our content has improved accessibility and simplified navigation to make it easier to find what you need.

Ofsted: Inspecting Further Education and Skills: Guide for Providers
September 3, 2019
Ofsted Introduces its New Education Inspection Framework (EIF)
August 22, 2019

Following a consultation, we will inspect using our new education inspection framework (EIF) from September 2019.

The new framework sets out how we will inspect:

Decorative image
  • state schools
  • further education and skills providers
  • non-association independent schools
  • registered early years settings
Changes to inspections

Inspection will focus on the real substance of education, the curriculum.

Inspectors will spend less time looking at test data, and more time looking at what is taught and how it is taught. They will consider how a nursery, school, college or other education provider achieves its results.

We want to make sure that good results flow from teaching a broad, rich curriculum and reflect real learning, not just intensive preparation for a test.

We will be grading schools and other providers on the areas that matter most to parents:

  • the quality of education
  • behaviour and attitudes
  • personal development
  • leadership and management
What inspections will include

Inspectors will look at how a school contributes to pupils’ broader development, including their character, citizenship and resilience. They will also look at how the school manages behaviour, low-level disruption and bullying, so that parents can be assured that the school is one in which pupils are safe and able to learn.

Inspectors will check that school leaders are behaving with integrity by putting children’s interests first. This includes checking that schools do not enter pupils for qualifications that are inappropriate for the child but that may have a positive impact on the school’s published performance data.

Inspectors will also check that schools are not removing pupils from the school’s roll without a formal, permanent exclusion when this is not in the child’s best interests. We refer to this as ‘off-rolling’.

Inspection reports

We want to give parents clear and helpful information. This is to reassure parents about the education children are receiving now, as well as informing choices about their children’s future education.

Our reports will be shorter and clearer. They will tell parents what it’s like to be a child in that school, what the school is doing well and what it could be doing better.

We will keep our current grading system of:

  • outstanding
  • good
  • requires improvement
  • inadequate

It is not just about exam results.

Reports will tell you what behaviour is like at the school, how it tackles bullying, and whether children are learning the things they need to learn to get ahead in life.

We hope the changes we are making will help parents to make informed decisions about their children’s education.

New Ofsted Board Members
July 24, 2019

The Department for Education has announced two new appointments and a re-appointment to the Ofsted Board.

The Department for Education (DfE) announced the appointment of 5 new non-executive members of the Ofsted Board: Julie Kirkbride, Hamid Patel CBE, Martin Spencer, Carole Stott MBE, Baroness Laura Wyld.

The DfE also announced the re-appointment of existing board members John Cridland and Venessa Wilms.

Martin and Laura have been appointed for a 4 year period and Julie, Hamid and Carole for a 3 year period.

These appointments follow a joint process run by the DfE and Ofsted between January and May. We received over 400 applications of which 18 were interviewed by an Advisory Assessment Panel.

Julius Weinberg, Chair of the Ofsted Board, said:

I am delighted to welcome Carole, Hamid, Julie, Laura and Martin to the Ofsted board; their expertise, experience and passion will be of great value to us. I am also delighted that John and Venessa are remaining with us; their retention ensures continuity and that we continue to benefit from their knowledge and expertise.

We already have a strong Board at Ofsted; our new members will bring perspectives and knowledge that will help as we continue to support the Executive team in the important role we perform.

Read the full appointment announcement for July on GOV.UK.