Ofsted Change Again – A Summary of the Latest Inspection Changes
From September 2015 we shall be into another new (revised) Framework. Although not a completely new Framework there are differences in both style and content that have important implications for schools.
For a document which highlights the changes from the January Framework follow this link:
A common framework for inspection will cover registered early years settings, maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills providers, so that common judgements and terminology can be used across all these sectors.
Ofsted Inspectors, directly contracted by the inspectorate, will undertake inspections. Seven out of 10 of these inspectors will be serving practitioners from good and outstanding schools and colleges. All of their training, quality assurance and performance management will be directly overseen by HMI to ensure higher quality and greater consistency in practice and judgements.
These are similar but all have some changes within, some of which reflect a change of language and some a difference in focus or an addition e.g. personal development and welfare included within behaviour.
- Overall Effectiveness. The Quality and Standards of Education. This takes into account:
- Effectiveness of leadership and management
- Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- Personal development, behaviour and welfare
- Outcomes for children and learners
- The effectiveness of Early Years
- The effectiveness and impact of the provision for SMSC
- The extent to which the school meets the needs of the range of pupils in the school
- Effectiveness of Leadership and Management
- Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
- Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare
- Outcomes for Pupils
The elements within each of these and the grade descriptors for all of them contain changes from the current Framework.
From September, Ofsted will inspect good schools/providers once every 3 years under a new short inspection model. Inspectors will start from a premise that the school or provider is still good and focus on ensuring that those standards are being maintained. They will check that leaders have identified key areas of concern and that they have the capacity to address them.
These short inspections will typically last one day and be led by one or two of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI). Where HMI feel more evidence is necessary to confirm the judgement, or to establish whether the school or provider may have improved or declined, the visit will be converted to a full inspection and continue, most commonly, for an additional day.
HMCI Sir Michael Wishaw states:
“The starting assumption of Inspectors will be that the school is good. This should engender an atmosphere in which honest, challenging, professional dialogue can take place.”
“Leaders will have nothing to fear from accurately identifying at the outset any weaknesses in their provision – as well as the strengths – based on their own evaluation. HMI will be looking to see that the leadership has a clear understanding of the key areas for development – and a credible and effective plan for addressing these.”
Implications for Schools
School leaders and governors need to ensure they have secure and up to date knowledge of the new Framework, including specific changes to the evaluation schedule and descriptors. It would be beneficial to adapt any Self Evaluation format to align it with the new headings.
It is vital for leaders to have clear evidence based on self evaluation about current strengths, areas for development, actions planned and taken and any impact of these actions.
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