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    « New statutory guidance on safeguarding | Main | Is your promotion of British values outstanding? »

    The new 2019 inspection framework and E&D and British values.

    The new inspection framework has been published. What are the implications for Equality, Diversity (E&D) and British values (BV)? What are the consequences for integrating E&D and BV in the new Quality of Education judgement? What evidence do you have that you are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep?

    The inclusion of ‘character development’ is a significant step – what are the practical implications for providers? How have you evaluated the range, quality and take-up of extra-curriculum activities that are offered? What if you have reduced enrichment and tutorial activities and opportunities in comparison to the past? Do tutors have the knowledge and confidence to discuss sensitive topics? Do they take advantage of what is going on in the world? How have you evaluated the quality of debate and discussions that take place with learners?

    How are you nurturing the principles of equality and diversity to create and maintain a positive and respectful ethos and culture? Do you have a ‘hierarchy’ where, for example, where some aspects of bullying or prejudiced and discriminatory behavior are tackled more effectively than others?

    What training and CPD activities do you need to develop to ensure sufficient staff skills, knowledge and expertise?

    Has the bar been raised by the new inspection framework?

    1. Introduction

    While the new inspection framework introduces a number of broader changes, this article focuses on the practical implications for the inspection of equality, diversity and British values. For a complete picture, please see the Education inspection framework and the Further Education and Skills Handbook (links are below).

    2. Top level changes and observations

    The new inspection framework will enable inspection to provide a more rounded view of the quality of education that a provider offers.

    A provider’s overall effectiveness is now informed by the 4 key judgements of:

    • Quality of Education
    • Personal Development
    • Behavior and Attitudes
    • Learnership and Management

    Quality of education absorbs the previous ‘outcomes’ and ‘teaching, learning and assessment’ judgements.

    The previous Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare is now split into two separate key judgements; Personal Development, and Behaviour and attitudes.

    The key judgement of Leadership and management remains.

    4 top level observations:

    1. E&D and British Values continues to feature highly, permeating all four key judgements.     
    2. There is an even greater focus on preparing learners for life as responsible citizens in society. This includes developing a learner’s character to give the learner the qualities they need to flourish in society
    3. The greater focus on safeguarding in the 2015 inspection is maintained, including ensuring that providers protect all learners from prejudiced based- bullying and discrimination

    4. The expectation is that the promotion E&D and British Values is active, not passive. Staff, managers, senior leaders and governors all have a part to play.


    3. The key judgement of Quality of Education

    Quality of Education is at the heart of the 2019 new inspection framework. This new key judgement will help shift the focus away from headline data, and instead enable inspectors to look more intensely at how education providers are achieving their results. There will be a greater gathering of qualitative evidence to help assess whether a provider is offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep.

    This means that providers need to be clear on the answers to 3 key questions:

    • What are we trying to achieve through our curriculum? (Intent) - What do you want for learners, including the ‘knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life?
    • How is our curriculum being delivered? (Implementation) - How are we integrating new knowledge of E&D and British Values into larger concepts? How is teaching, learning and assessment fulfilling your intent?
    • What difference is our curriculum making? (Impact) - How are you evaluating the knowledge and skills learners have gained against expectations?

    Ofsted representatives speaking at events over the past few months have stressed that what have traditionally been thought of as 'extra-curricular activities' are very much part of the curriculum. They have made it clear that schools and colleges will be rewarded for being "bold and courageous" in their curriculum offering. This might be a challenge, for example for those colleges who have reduced enrichment and tutorial opportunities and activities over past years.

    Evidence gathering will involve:

    • Top-level view: Inspectors and leaders start with a top-level view of the curriculum, exploring what is on offer, to whom and when.
    • Deep dives, which involve gathering deep, rich evidence on the curriculum intent, implementation and impact over a sample of subjects, topics or aspects. This is done in collaboration with leaders, teachers and students. The intent of deep dives is to seek to interrogate and establish a coherent evidence base on the quality of education
    • Bringing it together: inspectors will bring the evidence together to widen coverage and to test whether any issues identified during the deep dives are systemic. This will usually involve senior leaders bringing forward further evidence and inspectors gathering additional evidence.


    4. The key judgement of Personal Development

    This key judgement is about evaluating the extent to which a provider has contributed to learners’ personal development, equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to Britain’s complex multicultural society.

    The judgement focuses on the most significant dimensions of the personal development of learners, including:

    • developing and deepening learners’ understanding of the fundamental British values
    • promoting an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all learners, irrespective of different protected characteristics
    • developing learners’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy
    • promoting equality of opportunity so that all learners can thrive together, understanding that difference is a positive, not a negative, and that individual characteristics make people unique.

    Inspectors will use range evidence to evaluate, including, where appropriate, the ‘quality of debate & discussions’ that take place with learners.

    Personal development also includes developing a learner’s character. The Inclusion of character development within the new framework is a significant step to ensuring education and training priorities life skills and not just attainment. It means that providers will need to explicitly demonstrate how they are developing the character of individual learners.

    Character, according to Ofsted and the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, is defined as :

    “the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they

    • reflect wisely
    • learn eagerly
    • behave with integrity and
    • cooperate consistently well with others”.

    This gives learners the qualities they need to flourish in society.

    What do we need to do to achieve outstanding personal development status?

    The grade descriptor for Outstanding Personal Development gives insight into Ofsted expectations. Grade descriptors should be approached with care, as they should not be seen as ‘checklists’. However, they are a helpful guide to what inspectors might be seeking as part of their evidence base. 

    To be outstanding, the provider must meet, securely and consistently, all criteria for ‘good’, for example:

    ‘The provider prepares learners for life in modern Britain by: teaching them how to protect themselves from radicalisation and extremist views; helping to equip them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society; developing their understanding of fundamental British values; developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity; celebrating what we have in common; and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law.’


    ‘Personal development is exceptional...provider consistently and extensively promotes the personal development of learners. The provider goes beyond the expected, so learners have access to a wide, rich set of experiences that teach why it is important to contribute actively to society’.

    Does this indicate that the ‘bar has been raised’?


    5. The key judgement of Behaviour and Attitudes

    This judgement evaluates the extent to which a provider develops and maintains a positive and respectful culture, where the principles of equality and diversity are nurtured. Inspectors will determine if learners feel safe, if they experience bullying, harassment or discrimination. And If incidents occur, do learners feel safe and confident to report them, knowing that staff will take swift and appropriate action?

    To be outstanding;

    ‘learners have consistently high levels of respect for others. They play a highly positive role in creating an environment that values and nurtures difference. Bullying and harassment are never tolerated.’


    6. The key judgement of Leadership and Management

    The provider’s leadership and management remains a key area of consideration. Equality, Diversity and British values continues to permeate this key judgement.

    The Education Inspection Framework underpins the individual handbooks to ensure consistency across different inspection remits. The framework states that inspectors will assess the extent to which a provider complies with relevant legal duties as set out in the Equality Act 2010, including, where relevant, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Human Rights Act 1998.

    Important factors for evaluating leadership and management include whether training and CPD for staff develops sufficient skills, knowledge and expertise to enable and empower them to deliver high quality education and training. This includes providing a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep and equips students to be responsible, respectful and active citizens.  

    Safeguarding continues to have a strong focus. In relation to equality, diversity and British values, safeguarding is ineffective when:

    • incidents of bullying or prejudiced and discriminatory behaviour, either direct or indirect, are common
    • leaders fail to protect learners from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism in accordance with the ‘Prevent’ duty guidance.

    If safeguarding is ineffective, this is likely to lead to a judgement of inadequate leadership and management.


    7. Conclusions and national workshops

    E&D and British Values continues to play a significant part in inspection, permeating all four key judgements. If anything, the bar has been raised.

    The above is just a brief summary of some of the implications for E&D and British values raised by the new 2019 inspection framework. For further information and to obtain the complete picture, please read the:

    Education Inspection Framework, which can be downloaded here,  and

    FE and skills inspection handbook, which can be downloaded here.

    National training workshops on equality, diversity, British values and the new 2019 inspection framework

    I will be delivering national training workshops on equality, diversity, British values and inspection. These are on behalf of the AoC, and will take place on:

    • Nov 2019 in London
    • Feb 2020 in Birmingham.

     Updated with the very latest findings from Ofsted, these highly practical workshop will

    • explain the new inspection framework and the practical implications
    • share practice in the sector from the ‘best of the best’
    • help you to evaluate your practice and to action plan for improvement, to be inspection ready
    • support you to gain the very best inspection outcomes.

    Further information and registration for these events will be published shortly on the AoC website. I will send out an alert to let you know when this has taken place. 

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