New Ofsted inspection framework is published

Ofsted have published its final version of the new education inspection framework.

The consultation had a total of 15,000 responses from individuals, subject associations, including NSEAD, and many organisations. This was the largest consultation in Ofsted’s history. Some changes to the draft education inspection framework have been made.

We have summarised the key points and changes made with respect to our subject:

Ofsted say:

'The focus of inspection will be on the real substance of education: the curriculum. Respondents to the formal consultation, and indeed the views gained from the informal consultation, overwhelmingly supported the proposal to introduce a new ‘quality of education’ key judgement for all remits. This will focus on what is intended to be learned through the curriculum, how well it is taught and assessed, and the impact it has on learners.

'Respondents overwhelmingly supported the proposal to create 2 separate judgements for ‘personal development’ and ‘behaviour and attitudes’. The new ‘personal development’ judgement will consider what a provider does to help develop learners’ character, resilience and values and the provider’s advice and support to help learners succeed in life.'

There will be a transitional phase: Ofsted say that during this transitional period, the judgment: 'Will not be negatively affected if it is clear to an inspector that leaders have a plan for updating the curriculum and are taking genuine action to do so.

'We will review this transitional phase in the summer of 2020.'

Inspectors will make a judgement on the quality of education by evaluating:

In 'Intent' Ofsted state:
 leaders take on or construct a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life

 learners study the full curriculum. Providers ensure this by teaching a full range of subjects for as long as possible, ‘specialising’ only when necessary

In 'Implementation' Ofsted state:
 teachers have good knowledge of the subject(s) and courses they teach. Leaders provide effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise

In 'Impact' Ofsted state:
 learners develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Where relevant, this is reflected in results from national tests and examinations that meet government expectations, or in the qualifications obtained.

NSEAD welcomes the move towards a broad and balanced curriculum; recognition that cultural capital must be an entitlement for all pupils and that Ofsted make explicit the need for teachers to have good subject knowledge. However, the new framework indicates that 'government expectations will steer judgements' and therefore the Ebacc is here to stay. We understand and have seen the impact that this measure is having on schools, and the limits this is placing on curriculum breadth. We will therefore continue to campaign for policies that are arts inclusive or to see the Ebacc dismantled.

You can read the new framework here.

You can read NSEAD's consultation response here.

14 May 2019