New year, new inspection regime

18 September 2019

The start of the new school year sees the advent of a new education inspection framework (EIF) in England’s schools.

Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) has announced that its new regime will govern how inspections are carried out in state schools, further education and skills providers, non-association independent schools, and registered early years settings.

Inspectors will spend less time looking at test data, Ofsted said, and more looking at what is taught and how it is taught, in order to gain a greater understanding of how education providers achieve their results.

It said that the new inspection framework will help make sure that good results “flow from teaching a broad, rich curriculum and reflect real learning, not just intensive preparation for a test”.

Promising that reports will be shorter and clearer, Ofsted aims to let parents know what it is like to be a child in a particular school, what that school is doing well and what it could be doing better.

The system of grading institutions as outstanding, good, requires improvement, or inadequate is being retained.

Parents can also expect to see schools and other providers graded in the following areas: the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Inspectors will look at how a school contributes to pupils’ broader development, including their character, citizenship and resilience.

There will also be greater emphasis on assessing how schools manage behaviour, low-level disruption and bullying, with Ofsted inspectors also checking that schools are not off-rolling pupils – a practice that Ofsted defines as removing a pupil from the school roll without using a permanent exclusion, when the removal is primarily in the best interests of the school, rather than those of the pupil.

See also “New drive to boost standards in schools”.