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    2019 Inspection Framework and E&D and British values

    September 2019 is likely to see the introduction of a new inspection framework. What do we know so far about the likely changes and what are the potential implications for E&D and British values?

    Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, has announced details of planned changes to the way Ofsted inspects schools, colleges, further education institutions and early years settings from September 2019. Here is what we know so far. I will provide further updates and guidance as information is released 

    1. Why change?

    Amanda Spielman has acknowledged that inspections are too often focused on outcomes, at the expense of the curriculum. There therefore needs to be a reduced focus on data and a greater focus on the education being delivered. The proposed changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look at how education providers are achieving their results, and whether they are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep, or simply ‘teaching to the test’. The intention is for inspection to provide a more rounded view of the quality of education that a provider offers. 

    Spielman said:

    ‘I want to make sure that at Ofsted, we focus on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’: the essence of what performance tables cannot capture. That doesn’t mean there will be no link between what we find about the quality of education, and what the published data says. They are, one hopes, somewhat correlated. But inspection should be a slightly different conversation. It should ask a different question. We want to know what is being taught and how schools are achieving a good education, not just what the results are looking like.’

    2. What will change?

    a). A change in key judgements. The four categories currently used for Ofsted inspections are:

    • effectiveness of leadership and management
    • quality of teaching, learning and assessment
    • personal development, behaviour and welfare
    • outcomes.

    From outcomes of Ofsted discussions and research so far, although dependent on the outcomes of further consultation, the new judgement headings are likely to be:

    • effectiveness of leadership and management
    • quality of education
    • behaviour and attitudes
    • personal development

    It is likely that the new judgements will continue to be made using the current 4 point grading scale.

    b). A change in focus. Inspection is likely to move away from a focus on data to look instead at the substance of education and a broad curriculum and how providers are achieving results.

    The new key judgement of ‘quality of education’ will replace the current ‘outcomes’ and ‘teaching, learning and assessment’ with a broader single judgement. Ofsted are likely to look at three distinct aspects.

    • What are you trying to achieve through your curriculum? What is it that you want for students, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained? (Intent)
    • How is your curriculum being delivered? How have you translated the aims of your curriculum into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context?  How is teaching, learning and assessment fulfilling your intent? (Implementation)
    • What difference is your curriculum making? How are you evaluating the knowledge and skills gained by students against expectations? What are the results and wider outcomes that students achieve and the destinations they go on to? (Impact)

     Spielman has said: 

    ‘Too many teachers and leaders have not been trained to think deeply about what they want their pupils to learn and how they are going to teach it.’

    ‘the curriculum is not the timetable, nor is it what we think might come up in the exam. We all have to ask ourselves how we have created a situation where second-guessing the test can so often trump the pursuit of real, deep, knowledge and understanding.

    Ofsted representatives speaking at events have stressed that what have traditionally been thought of as 'extra-curricular activities' are very much part of the curriculum, and have made it clear that schools and colleges will be rewarded for being "bold and courageous" in their curriculum offering.

    The split of the current key judgement of ‘personal development, welfare and behaviour’ recognises that there are different elements of the student experience. ‘Behaviour and attitudes’ looks at aspects such as student behaviour, attitudes to learning, attendance, bullying, disciplinaries. Prior to the outcomes of further consultations and pilots (see below), it is thougt that these are best considered separately to ‘personal development’, which considers a student’s wider personal development and their opportunities to develop as active, healthy and engaged citizens.

    A provider's Leadership and management are likely to remain key areas of consideration. The current focus on safeguarding is also likely to be maintained. 

    3. What are the implications for equality, diversity and British values?

    While Amanda Spielman has not specifically mentioned these in recent speeches, it is clear from the potential changes above that the focus on equality, diversity and British values is likely to be, at the very least maintained, and possibly even strengthened.

    4. What happens next and when will the inspection framework change?

    Research by Ofsted is ongoing and this will continue to feed into decisions about the new framework, as well as outcomes from pilots and consultations.  

    Ofsted are currently piloting options for the new framework this term. Initially, this will involve ‘soft pilots’ with schools who have volunteered for the experience, helping inspectors to test the new methodology in a consequence-free way.

    Ofsted will launch a consultation on the new framework in January 2019. Unlike previous consultations, views will also be sought on each individual inspection handbook. Consultations on the details of the new framework will take place in the spring term of 2019.

    The intention is for the new framework to be finalised ready for inspectors to start using it by the beginning of September 2019.

    5. What is the response from the sector?

    Teachers and leaders have broadly, albeit cautiously welcomed the changes. They have long argued that Ofsted have focused too strongly on data at the expense of providing a more rounded view of the quality of education that a provider offers. 

    However, some have expressed concern that the changes might be ‘rushed through’ without adequate consultation or adequate preparation time. And that brings the risk that not all schools and colleges will understand the changes and not all inspectors will apply the new framework consistently.

    National conference training workshop on equality, diversity, British values and inspection

    Christine will be delivering a national conference training workshop on equality, diversity, British values and inspection on behalf of the AoC, on Tuesday 20 November 2018 in Birmingham.

    Updated with the very latest findings from Ofsted, this highly practical workshop will help you to evaluate your practice, action plan for improvement and be inspection ready, to gain the very best inspection outcomes. Christine will also use the day to reflect on the potential implications for E&D and British values with the introduction of the new 2019 inspection framework.

    You can find out more information or register for the event here

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