UNANNOUNCED OFSTED – THE BIG ISSUES
In addition to the no notice inspections on Behaviour that already happen, around 40 schools up and down the country have been selected for the two-day unannounced inspections during a two-week window in September, under powers already available to the inspectorate.
Ofsted will continue to carry out unannounced inspections throughout the academic year. By conducting the first wave within a two-week window, Ofsted will be able to make an early assessment of their impact.
This is to examine the feasibility of moving to a system of inspecting all schools without notice, rather than the half-day notice that the majority of schools currently receive.
In addition, he has instructed Ofsted’s Regional Directors to make wider use of existing powers to conduct no notice inspections of schools where there are concerns about:
- rapidly declining standards;
- safeguarding, including a decline in the standards of pupils’ behaviour and the ability of staff to maintain discipline;
- standards of leadership or governance; or
- the breadth and balance of the curriculum (including where the statutory requirement to publish information to parents is not met).
Many of the schools selected for these inspections over the coming days were already scheduled to undergo ‘section 5’ inspections this term. However, others will be schools that weren’t due for inspection but where Ofsted has become aware of concerns.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOLS?
Historically, Ofsted approaches which are piloted become the norm fairly quickly and schools should really always be prepared for inspection. We have repeatedly given schools advice to be “RED” – Ready Every Day – and this is even more pertinent now.
THIS MEANS SCHOOLS MUST BE DOING THE FOLLOWING (at least):
For Standards of Achievement
- Ensuring that subject analysis identifies key trends in attainment and progress over time with leaders taking targeted action to make and sustain needed improvements.
- Regularly assessing each pupil’s progress, aggregating results, analysing issues and implementing interventions where necessary in order to ensure there are no individuals or key groups that are failing to meet expectations.
For Teaching and Learning
- Regularly monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching, analysing the results at individual, subject, year group or phase levels to identify trends, with leaders taking targeted action to make and sustain needed improvements.
- Using a wide variety of sources to inform judgments about the quality of teaching, including:
- Data – especially that which shows progress of individuals and groups
- Work scrutinies
- Learning walks
- Pupil Voice
- Regularly reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum.
For Leadership and Management
- Having a clear vision for the school in the short, medium and long term.
- Identifying priorities for improvement and producing a clear plan to address them.
- Ensuring that staff structures and Performance Management processes and procedures are effective in enabling the priorities to be met.
- Monitoring and evaluating the progress of the plan termly and making any necessary changes to ensure each priority is kept on track.
Behaviour and Safety
- Ensuring that both behaviour and safety are separately and regularly monitored, analysing the results at individual, subject, year group or phase levels to identify issues, trends or patterns, with leaders taking targeted action to make and sustain needed improvements.
- Using a variety of sources of evidence to inform judgements such as:
- Learning walks
- Pupil Voice
- Parent Voice
For each of the areas above the crucial thing for the school to ask is, “Do we have the evidence (in a simple form) to be able to show both action and impact?”
This is what needs to be at hand or easily generated on any given day.
There is a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that many schools are suffering from the analysis of Parent View made by inspectors. This always was a danger because of the often disproportionate number of negative views expressed on the site, which do not reflect the overall view of the parent body.
In order to combat this, it is very important for the school to have collected and collated its own, much deeper and wider information, reflecting a truer picture of the parental views. This needs to be done on a regular basis so that any analysis is up to date and pertinent.
Standards of Achievement
We can provide analysis of your RAISEonline report or your SATs results or Early Years data, plus training on data analysis for leadership teams or governors
Find out more at www.forschoolseducation.co.uk/school-data/
Teaching and Learning
Lessons Learned – Teaching and Learning Development System
Observe against our or your own framework, using comprehensive grade descriptors as evidence for your chosen judgement. Internet based so you can save comments using an ipad or Android Tablet in real time during an observation. It can be used for a variety of evidence sources which can be attached to any observation.
Lessons Learned – The Practical Handbook for Improving Teaching
This provides a clear framework, describing the elements and characteristics of an effective lesson as well as giving guidance on feedback and the use of secondary sources in addition to observation.
Find out more at www.forschoolseducation.co.uk/teaching-learning
Leadership and Management
Lessons Learned – Performance Management System
This system gives a simple method for managing your appraisal processes, giving staff access to their forms along with the opportunity to evidence and contribute to the process by outlining what they have done to meet their objectives/targets. Objective setting is informed by everything from T&L data, pupil data and professional standards (linked to career stage expectations) and pay recommendations and reports can be reported to governors and approved as and when you want.
We offer a variety of Surveys with flexibility to add, remove and alter questions, we also offer all of our surveys on-line and/or on paper. This means that you can guarantee the best possible response rate from all of your Pupils, Parents, Staff and Governors.
Find out more at www.forschoolseducation.co.uk/school-surveys/
We are happy to provide INSET or training days for whole schools or teams on any aspect of School Improvement. For further information on any related aspect please contact Louise, Rob or Hannah on 0800 788 0444.