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New Ofsted Board Members
July 24, 2019
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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.

ViewPoint: What Ofsted’s New Inspection Framework Means for FE by Billy Camden
May 14, 2019
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Ofsted has today published its new and final education inspection framework that will come into effect from September.

It follows a three-month public consultation, which prompted more than 15,000 responses – the highest number the education watchdog has ever received. Read more

Amanda Spielman Speech at the 2019 Annual Apprenticeships Conference
March 28, 2019
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The Chief Inspector discussed the apprenticeship landscape, current challenges that providers face and Ofsted’s approach.Amanda Spielman

The following speech was delivered on 27 March 2019 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Introduction

To say that the last few years have marked monumental changes for the apprenticeship market is no exaggeration. We have seen the introduction of the levy, standards, the off-the-job training quota, and of course degree apprenticeships – to name just a few.

This is a heady mix, and understandably, the sector’s had to work hard to adjust.

Since I spoke to you last year, apprenticeships remain in the headlines, and not always for the right reasons. The continuing fall in starts, highlighted again by the National Audit Office (NAO) earlier this month, is still a major cause for concern.

I am well aware that apprenticeship providers have a lot to contend with. The wider context that means that many of you are struggling to make apprenticeships available.

Read more

Ofsted Blog: What Ofsted Looks at When it Comes to Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance
March 21, 2019
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Julie Ashton, senior Her Majesty’s inspector, and Nigel Bragg, Her Majesty’s inspector, explain why good-quality careers guidance should be available to helpOfstedyoung people make informed decisions, and outline what Ofsted looks at in inspections when it comes to careers education.

Not so long ago, the career decisions we made as teenagers set us on a path that lasted until we received our free bus pass. For many, the days when we had a job for life are now long gone, yet it’s fair to say that the career decisions we make as young adults are still important.

We can all agree that careers guidance matters. Schools and colleges have a vital role in preparing pupils and young people for life beyond education, and that is not just limited to exam grades. Read more

How to do Well In the New Ofsted
February 13, 2019
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The following blog was posted

We invited Ofsted in to our school this week to support the pilot of the new framework, which will come into play in September. The framework is currently open for consultation, and you can find out more information here.

First up, I do need to give some context to this post. This is my own personal opinion and experience of the process. As a school and as a leadership team, we found the process to be a generally positive one, though one which was thorough and challenging. I am keen to emphasise, though, that follows is very much my own personal reflection, as AHT for Upper KS2 and the school’s Curriculum leader. It is also worth noting that is this was a two-day pilot inspection, the actual final framework may or may not differ from this experience.

I want to keep this as a brief and snappy post, so here we go.

We didn’t talk data; we really talked curriculum

Read more

Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook
September 5, 2018
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This handbook describes the main activities Ofsted inspectors undertake when they inspect further education and skills providers.
Ofsted

It sets out the main judgements that inspectors will report on. It can also be used by providers and other organisations to inform themselves about inspection processes and procedures The handbook is to be used alongside the Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years’.

The mythbuster document sets out facts about Ofsted’s requirements and dispels myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in colleges.

 

Documents

ESFA Confirm, Ofsted will Have the Final Say on Poor-Performing Apprenticeship Providers
August 22, 2018
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In a move that was predicted by many in the sector, the government has decided that Ofsted will have the decisive say over poor-performing providers. 

They will now be expected to visit every new apprenticeship provider. They will receive £7 million in extra funding to make this possible.

According to the ESFA’s Removal from register of apprenticeship training providers and eligibility to receive public funding to deliver apprenticeship training’‘ updated today, any provider making ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one of the themes under review will be barred from taking on any new apprentices – either directly or through a subcontracting arrangement.

They can continue to work with existing apprentices, but must tell the employers, and any lead providers, about the monitoring visit outcome.

These restrictions will remain in place until the provider has received a full inspection and been awarded at least a grade three for its apprenticeship provision.

The ESFA can only overrule this guidance if it “identifies an exceptional extenuating circumstance”.

Blog by Ofsted Inspector Chris Jones, HMI, Specialist Adviser for Apprenticeships
August 15, 2018
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In the following blog Chris Jones HMI, Ofsted’s specialist adviser for apprenticeships, blogs about the changing framework, apprenticeship standards and how to record the progress that apprentices make.

The Institute for Apprenticeships is increasing the number of apprenticeship standards available to employers and apprentices.

These changes have been introduced alongside the apprenticeship levy. At present, when an apprenticeship standard isn’t available, apprentices complete the technical and vocational qualifications relevant to an apprenticeship framework

Now, a new model of apprenticeship is emerging and the structure is changing, as I wrote about in a previous blog. This approach is much more occupationally specific and is directly linked to the needs of employers.

Most apprenticeship standards don’t contain qualifications. They focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of the apprentices. An end-point assessment, specific to the apprenticeship standard, validates the standard.

Apprenticeship frameworks

We know that many frameworks will disappear in 2020. Apprenticeship standards will replace the frameworks as part of the apprenticeship reform programme. Most apprentices work at levels 2 and 3, with around 11% of apprentices working at level 4 and above. The proportion working at higher levels is increasing because over 40% of standards are for higher and degree level apprenticeships. For areas like business administration there is no replacement apprenticeship standard at level 2.

It’s clear from the range of frameworks that are still available, that many apprentices working at levels 2 and 3 will continue to work towards an apprenticeship framework for some time, and hence will continue to complete nationally recognised qualifications. Providers and inspectors can compare qualification achievement rates and look for patterns and changes to help them decide how well apprentices are doing.

Because most apprenticeship standards have no qualifications, inspectors and providers must be clear about the different ways of measuring achievement. As inspectors, we need to consider what these changes mean for inspection practice. Read more

Ofsted Launches Point-in-Time Surveys
July 10, 2018
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Ofsted has issued its annual point-in-time online surveys for children’s homes, fostering agencies, adoption agencies, adoption support agencies and residential family centres.

The surveys are for children, parents, foster carers, adopters, staff and other professionals.

Ofsted inspectors want to hear what they have to say about the establishment or agency. Their responses will help inform future inspections.

Ofsted is asking for responses by 17 August 2018.

Establishments and agencies should provide a link to the surveys to everyone on Ofsted’s behalf.

Alternatively, anyone wishing to offer their views can contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 (select option 5 and then option 2) or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.

If you’re a provider, have a look at the guidance about social care surveys, including a promotional poster.

Ofsted will run surveys for boarding schools from 1 October until 9 November 2018.

Amanda Spielman’s Speech to the Policy Exchange Think Tank
July 10, 2018
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The Chief Inspector discussed the importance of promoting British values in schools and Ofsted’s role in making sure this is done well. 

Delivered on: (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

 

The title of this speech, ‘The Ties that Bind’, is not an original phrase. And indeed, as soon as the invitations for this Policy Exchange event went out, we had a call from an understandably bemused Lords Committee clerk wondering why they had not been consulted, because their Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement published a report with this title earlier this year, and for which one of my colleagues gave evidence. So, apologies to Lord Hodgson and his eminent fellow peers – I had not then seen their excellent report, though I have now read it with great interest.

And of course a great deal of overdue thinking and discussion has happened in many quarters in recent years on the difficult subjects of community cohesion, integration, citizenship and British values, by minds far more distinguished than mine. Indeed, when I took up the job of Chief Inspector, I hardly imagined this was a subject I would be spending quite so much time on. But having spent 18 months in what is a fairly hot seat at Ofsted, I have seen quite how much these challenges directly affect our schools.

That is my topic this evening: to explore why the promotion of British values is important in encouraging cohesion and integration, and so why responsibility for promoting them must fall to our schools. And I also want to talk about Ofsted’s role in making sure that schools do this well.

Taking a step back for a few minutes, it was the experience of living and working in the United States, more than 20 years ago, that made me recognise how much the development of a society, and the formation of its public policy, is driven by the values that underlie that society. Even though the UK and the United States are more similar than most, I came to realise how different their underlying values and assumptions were, and still are. And I’m not talking about guns and abortions here – I was most struck then about things like the welfare settlement, and the idea of what education is for. The version of egalitarianism that has been the bedrock of NHS provision and of the English state school system for many decades looks quite strange to many American eyes. And I was genuinely surprised back then by how very differently the word ‘liberalism’ was perceived in America. All this made me look back at and think about Britain in a whole different way.

Read more