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Last updated on 24 February 2020
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Stay up to date with all things Ofsted, including changes to the inspection handbooks and any murmurings about the new framework.

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What the 2019 inspection framework means for you

Find out what the new framework will mean for your school here.

Feb 20: Curriculum transition period extended

Ofsted has extended the transition period for curriculum inspection arrangements for another year.

The new arrangements will apply until July 2021.

Read more about how the transition period works here.

New Ofsted report on financial pressures in schools may lead to further inspection changes

Ofsted has published a report into how schools respond when they're under financial pressure, and the impact their decisions make on the quality of education they provide.

On the back of this research, Ofsted says it will carry out further research into:

  • Whether it's helpful for inspectors to look at financial indicators when they inspect schools
  • What kinds of conversations with leaders, governors and trustees may help inform judgements on leadership and management and quality of education

Read the full report here.

Jan 20: Ofsted launches consultation on removing the 'outstanding' exemption

Ofsted is proposing that 'outstanding' schools will receive a section 8 inspection every 4 or 5 years. 

The consultation also explains how Ofsted plans to roll out the new schedule.

The deadline for responding to the consultation is 24 February 2020.

Ofsted publishes report on 'stuck' schools

The report looks at the challenges faced by these schools compared to 'unstuck' schools, and how the wider education system can help them to improve. 

'Stuck' schools are those that have had 4 or more full inspections where they were rated less than 'good'.

'Unstuck' schools are schools that were previously rated less than 'good' for 4 or more inspections, but have subsequently improved.

Read the full report here.

Sep 19: 'Outstanding' schools no longer exempt from inspection

The BBC report that the DfE has ended the exemption from routine inspection for 'outstanding' schools. This announcement comes after Ofsted raised concerns about the low number of 'outstanding' schools that keep their high rating when they're next inspected.

No further details about the change have been announced.

Ofsted may rate schools on financial management

Schools Week reports that the DfE has announced that it is currently working with Ofsted to determine whether inspections might include judgements on financial management and oversight. The discussions on this are in the early stages, and no changes to inspection are planned immediately. 

Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of NAHT, says Ofsted is incapable of making robust judgements in this area.

July 19: Ofsted research shows teachers feel unsupported when dealing with classroom behaviour

The research report shows that there's a perceived lack of support from leaders to address poor behaviour, and that this leads to low morale.

 Ofsted calls for MAT-inspection remit

In a report published in July, Ofsted recommended that it should be allowed to inspect both individual schools within a MAT and the MAT itself. This would be a change from the current system, where Ofsted is only allowed to conduct summary evaluations of MATs.

June 19: Labour Party considering changes to inspection system  

Tes has reported that Labour's policy chiefs have been in talks over how to change the current inspection system. They have concerns over reliability, impact on workload and teacher retention.

Union pressure has prompted Labour to look at the issue of Ofsted in detail. Tes says that Labour are considering inspection options as part of their National Policy Forum.

June 19: HMCI calls to lift exemption of outstanding schools 

Ofsted: we've got you covered

Ofsted have substantially increased the number of outstanding schools (who are exempt from routine inspections) they inspected this year.

Between 1 September 2018 and 31 March 2019, Ofsted inspected 8% (305) of all exempt schools. They found:

  • Only 49 remained outstanding (16%)
  • 166 were judged to be ‘good’ (54%)
  • 76 were found to require improvement (25%)
  • 14 were rated inadequate (5%)
  • More primary schools than secondary schools lost their outstanding grade

HMCI Amanda Spielman, said the results should ‘set alarm bells ringing’ and that ‘the exemption should be lifted and Ofsted resourced to routinely inspect these schools.’

June 19: Role of governance under the new Ofsted framework

In a speech to the National Governors Association, HMCI Amanda Spielman spoke about the role of governors under the new Ofsted framework.

She advised how governors can hold the school to account for the quality and shape of the curriculum, and how governors can help ensure that all pupils (including those with SEND or from disadvantaged backgrounds) receive the benefits of the school's full curriculum offer. 

She also spoke about how inspectors will take delegated responsibilities within MATs into account when inspecting governance.

Mar 19: 85% of schools inspected between 1 April and 31 December 2018 graded 'good' or 'outstanding', findings from pilot inspections

Data released by Ofsted also shows that the percentage of schools who improve in the inspection following a 'requires improvement' judgement has fallen. This means a school rated as 'requires improvement' is less likely to get a 'good' or 'outstanding' judgement at its next inspection compared to previous years. 

Information obtained by Schools Week also shows that none of the 'oustanding' schools inspected by Ofsted between 9 January and 1 February retained their 'outstanding' rating.

Osted publishes findings from new framework pilot inspections

On their blog, Ofsted discusses responses to on-site inspection preparation, 2-day section 8 inspections, and how inspectors will consider internal performance data. 

The blog points out that 2-day section 8 inspections may be overkill for very small primary schools, and that they're considering how to address this.

Off-rolling schools likely to be judged inadequate under new inspection framework

Leadership and management in schools that remove pupils from the roll to improve exam results ('off-rolling') is likely to be judged 'inadequate', Ofsted told the TES. According to the draft inspection handbook for September 2019, schools whose leadership and management is judged to be 'inadequate' is likely to be judged 'inadequate' overall.

Schools not responsible for knife crime, Ofsted says

Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, says that school's can't be held responsible for dealing with knife crime in the absence of properly funded local services. 

Read more about this on the BBC.

Ofsted to offer secondments to middle leaders

Ofsted told the Association of School and College Leaders' annual conference that they plan to offer middle leaders 1-year secondments as full-time inspectors, Schools Week reports

Ofsted says this will allow school leaders to access training and development, and equip them with knowledge of the wide range of good practice taking place in schools around the country, that they can then take back to their schools to help them improve.

Mar 19: Ofsted may rethink plans for on-site inspection preparation, plans to extend transition period

Ofsted has revealed that responses to proposals for on-site inspection preparation have been overwhelmingly negative. 

Matthew Purves, Ofsted's deputy director for schools, told the Tes that he still believes on-site preparation is a good idea. But Ofsted is taking all of the negative feedback into account and considering whether to move forward with the proposal.

Transition period under new inspection framework could be extended

A 12-month transition period will be in place from September 2019 to allow schools time to think about and develop their curriculums in light of the new inspection framework. 

Ofsted's head of research, Professor Daniel Muijs, suggested that Ofsted may extend this period based on the outcomes of inspections in the first 12 months.

Read more about this in TES.

Ofsted calls legal challenges to inspection results a 'waste of money'

Some schools have launched legal challenges to have their inspection results amended. 

Ofsted's Matthew Purves said such actions were 'foolhardy' and a waste of taxpayer money, according to Schools Week.

Feb 19: Ofsted publishes first MAT summary evaluation, head of NAHT questions new Ofsted framework

Ofsted's first MAT summary evaluation was for Truro and Penwith Academy Trust, which has 25 schools. 

Ofsted inspected 6 of the trusts schools, interviewed members of the central team, and spoke to senior leaders in 10 schools about the support they receive from the trust.

They also scrutinised trust documents, such as strategic plans and minutes from meetings. 

Read more about it in Schools Week.

Head of NAHT criticises new 'quality of education judgement'

In statements obtained by the TES, the head of the NAHT says the new judgement tries to cover too much ground, and that it could end up promoting just as much fear and perverse incentives as previous frameworks. 

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