What Schools Need to Know
Ofsted regularly produce Subsidiary Guidance documents to complement the Framework and provide guidance and advice to inspectors on aspects of Section 5 Inspections. These are easy to miss and they also do not necessarily supersede previous Subsidiary Guidance so have to be carefully interrogated.
The latest document was published in January 2014 and is numbered 110166. It contains additions or changes in these areas:
- Behaviour and Safety
No particular teaching method is espoused or favoured by Ofsted. It is all to do with impact and outcomes. Criticism can only be made if there is clear evidence that the strategy employed has had a negative effect upon learning and progress.
Clear guidance is given to inspectors that they must not be looking for ‘ independent learning’ at all times or that ‘passive learning’ is necessarily wrong in some situations. Negative judgements should only be made where it is stopping pupils learning new knowledge or gaining skills and understanding.
Inspectors are minded that in lesson observation, evidence is being gathered about a variety of aspects of provision and outcomes, not simply observing the features of the lesson. There should not be over emphasis on structure at the expense of its content or the wide range of other evidence about how well children are learning in the school.
When giving feedback, inspectors must not argue that they are unable to give a particular grade because of the time spent in the lesson.
Inspectors must not aggregate the grades given for teaching is a formulaic or simplistic way in order to evaluate its quality overall.
Note for schools:
Ensure that school processes for observing and judging teaching are very clearly focused on outcomes in terms of progress in learning new knowledge or gaining skills and understanding.
Behaviour and Safety
Judgements about behaviour in lessons concentrate very much on the effect (positive or negative) upon learning and progress.
Inspectors should identify disruptive behaviour of any kind. This may be overt, for example, ‘shouting out’, or pupils ‘talking over the teacher’, or ‘arguing back’, or low level disruption, for example, through continuous chatter, not bringing the right equipment to lessons, not having books or doing homework, pupils arriving late to lessons, pupils chatting when they are supposed to be working together or pupils being slow to settle to their work and so on. It may also be more covert, taking the form, for example, of quiet reluctance from a number of pupils to participate in group work or to cooperate with each other.
Note for schools:
Schools must make sure that the inspection evaluates what behaviour is typically like, not just the behaviour of pupils during the inspection. Consider how evidence of this may be arrived at.
There were also changes to the following:
- Achievement – Prior performance data, RAISE and other data
- EYFS and KS1, particularly attainment on entry and readiness for KS2
- Early Entry at GCSE
- The Sixth Form – The PANDA, attainment and progress measures, retention rates
For more information on these changes please see our data blog post:
Available to Purchase: Ofsted-compliant, EYFS and Teaching Assistant Frameworks
Our Practical Handbook for Improving Teaching and Learning gives you an Ofsted-compliant comprehensive observation framework, with descriptors explaining all levels of teaching and learning. It will ensure all staff know what Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate look like. The Handbook contains a series of evidence-gathering forms that ensure your school has a complete record of how teaching and learning is being observed, supported and developed throughout your school.
The framework provides guidance on effective feedback before and after lesson observations as well as tips on how to make the best use of secondary sources such as Learning Walks, Planning Scrutinies and Book Reviews.
We also offer EYFS and Teaching Assistant Frameworks which can be pre-ordered now and will be available from the end of March.