From September 2019, Ofsted will refocus inspections of schools, early years settings and further education and skills providers, to make sure that learners are receiving a high-quality education that puts them on a path to future success.
Ofsted inspectors will spend less time looking at exam results and test data, and more time considering how a nursery, school, college or other education provider has achieved their results. That is, whether they are the outcome of a broad, rich curriculum and real learning, or of teaching to the test and exam cramming.
The changes follow a 3-month public consultation, which prompted more than 15,000 responses – the highest number Ofsted has ever received.
Ofsted confirmed today that it will proceed with its headline proposal for a new ‘quality of education’ judgement, after it received strong support from three-quarters of respondents.
More than three-quarters of respondents also supported plans to introduce 2 new key judgements, evaluating learners’ ‘behaviour and attitudes’ separately from their ‘personal development’.
The ‘behaviour and attitudes’ judgement will assess whether leaders are creating a calm and orderly environment, where bullying is tackled effectively by leaders when it occurs. While the ‘personal development’ judgement will recognise the work early years providers, schools and colleges do to build young people’s resilience and confidence in later life, including through participation in sport, music and extra-curricular activities.
Together, these changes will make it easier for Ofsted to recognise and reward early years providers, schools and colleges that are doing the best they can for their pupils, particularly those working in challenging circumstances.
Schools will be empowered to always put the child first and be actively discouraged from negative practices, such as ‘off-rolling’, where schools remove pupils in their own best interests, rather than that of the pupils. Such schools are likely to find their ‘leadership and management’ judged inadequate under the new framework.
All inspection judgements will continue to be awarded under the current 4-point grading scale: outstanding; good; requires improvement; and inadequate. Reports will be redesigned and shortened to give parents the key information they need to know about a school and a sense of how it feels to be a pupil there.