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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:

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  • 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.

The Four New Key Judgments of the Ofsted Inspection Framework
June 27, 2019

Dr Chris Jones sets out the focus of the watchdog’s new framework, which will be in place from September

It is always a great pleasure to attend, deliver workshops and speak at the AELP conference, especially now, as we all prepare for the new inspection framework that comes in this September.

The new Ofsted framework has four key judgements. It seeks to rebalance what we look at on inspection by focusing on the substance of the curriculum and supporting leaders and teachers who act with integrity; namely, those who do the right thing for their learners and apprentices and who resist the temptation to take shortcuts.

The framework puts the curriculum back at the centre of inspection to ensure young people and adults receive the high-quality training and support they need to improve their knowledge and skills, get a new job or promotion, or gain the qualifications they need to go to university or higher levels of training.

A new quality of education judgment will evaluate the education and training that providers offer to all their learners and apprentices. Previously, we looked at the curriculum as a small element of leadership and management, and not through a teaching and assessment lens. With this framework, we will look in greater depth at what the provider chooses to offer, how well the curriculum is ordered and structured, and whether it is taught well.

With that focus, it is also important that we look at what happens to learners and apprentices after their education and training. Did they gain the qualifications or apprenticeship they were working towards? Did they develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for their next steps? Did they progress to their intended destination?

A separate behaviour and attitudes judgment will allow inspectors to consider how effectively providers and employers set expectations for a calm and orderly environment for teaching, training and work. Central to this is a strong focus on attendance and turning up on time for learning and work. Simply put, if a learner or apprentice is frequently absent and often late, they are not developing the employability skills they need.

On our personal development judgment – this is about looking at the things that affect all of us at every stage of our lives: mental and physical health, equality, diversity, British values and the prevention of radicalisation and extremism in all its forms. It is also about effective careers information and guidance. For apprentices, it means covering more than just the “job” they are doing and giving them chances to learn about the range of occupations and wider skills that their training prepares them for.

Finally, the leadership and management judgment focuses on how well leaders and managers support teachers, trainers and assessors to improve their subject knowledge, teaching and assessing skills and the integrity with which they select the subjects they teach and run the organisation.

Central to the leadership and management judgment are questions about who helps the provider to develop a clarity of vision, ethos and direction. Governance is a challenging principle in further education and skills, especially in small, independent training providers. This is why, in our handbook, we focus on the process of governance and not on people called “governors”.  Who holds leaders to account for performance? Who makes sure that public money is well spent?

I would also like to address the issue of safeguarding and keeping young people and vulnerable adults safe. It is about understanding local risks relevant to where your learners and apprentices live and work. If, for example, knife crime, sexual exploitation or far-right extremism are issues that your learners could face daily, then these are risks facing all learners and apprentices, regardless of age. Leaders, managers and teachers must ensure that the curriculum provides learners with access to the support they need to deal with those issues.

Finally, the framework consultation feedback made us aware of concerns about the lack of review around further education and skills research, so today we publish research activity specifically for the sector. You can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-inspection-framework-overview-of-research

Amanda Spielman at the Youth Sport Trust 2019 Conference
March 4, 2019

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector discussed the new education inspection framework and what it means for physical education and sport. 

Good morning. I’m delighted to be joining you today. Thank you for inviting me.

This morning I’m going to talk about the new Ofsted inspection framework that we’re consulting on, and what that might mean for PE and sport. As well as some of the research that lies underneath that framework, and how it links with the Youth Sports Trust’s own research on what’s happening to PE in schools.

Exercise and sports are hugely important for children. That should go without saying. Schools and colleges have a vital role to play in inspiring the next generation to lead healthy, active lives and to build resilience. But it’s more than that. The pursuit of sporting excellence is a fine thing in itself. While there isn’t a single definition of excelling, a good PE education can take each child down different pathways to find what they’re really good at. And on a bigger scale, it can take the whole of humanity forward.

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