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Looking ahead to Ofsted

Elementary School Pupils Sitting Examination In Classroom

In 2019 we are set to see a new Ofsted framework. Rumours are already circulating about what this might mean for schools. Perhaps most discussed topic has been the concern surrounding the curriculum. The Ofsted framework has been focusing more on the results that students achieve rather than the methods by which they obtain them. That a school’s worth cannot be judged by outcomes alone is a welcome development.

We needn’t wait until 2019 for some changes to take effect. Ofsted is already putting into place its plans for less frequent inspections for some categories of schools. Those that are deemed ‘inadequate’ will have longer to improve provided their leaders are considered to have the capacity to improve them.

This will also have the knock-on benefit of saving Ofsted money. The time between inspections is also likely to increase for schools in other categories too, although not for those that require improvement. Allowing more time for schools to put measures into place is a move supported by the education unions. Schools that are considered to be ‘good’ may also be left alone now for four rather than three years.

In the meantime, Amanda Spielman refers to three key things Ofsted is considering while developing the next inspection framework:

  • That inspections should be more than just about the grade
  • Inspection should complement and not intensify the focus on measures outcomes
  • Inspection should not be a catch-all for every problem in society

How these key principles will impact upon the framework in practice, we will have to wait to see.

For Amanda Spielman’s speech at the Bryanston Education Summit see https://bit.ly/2yh7rx0.

Changes to the School Inspection Window is available at https://bit.ly/2viDQC3.