The summer months have been a busy time for Ofsted, the education inspectorate, writes Emma Ing, Ofsted East Midlands director.
In June alone, Ofsted officials have met with Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and governors across Lincoln, Northampton and Mansfield, to explain the changes to the way it will inspect schools from this September, under the new Education inspection framework.
And now the organisation is highlighting some of the changes to come.
The importance of inspection Ofsted exists first and foremost to serve parents and young people, by reporting on how early years providers, schools, colleges and social care settings are faring.
It’s focus has always been on making sure that all children and young people receive the high-quality education and care they deserve.
But education does not stand still, and nor does inspection.
That is why, in September, it is launching the new education inspection framework.
So what’s changing?
Well, at the heart of the change is a focus on children’s whole educational experience, and with that, a careful consideration of the curriculum.
Here at Ofsted, we want to ensure that young people and students of all ages, and from all backgrounds, have opportunities to gain a rich understanding of a broad range of subjects.
Under the new framework, inspectors will take a rounded view of the quality of education provided.
While exam results and attainment data will always be important, inspectors will also want to know more about what is being taught, how it is taught, and whether it is leading to strong outcomes for children and young people.
Ofsted is also introducing a separate judgement of ‘behaviour and attitudes’, which will assess whether school leaders are creating a calm and orderly environment, where bullying is tackled effectively.
Separately, a new ‘personal development’ judgement will recognise the work that schools do to build children’s resilience and confidence, including through participation in sport, music and extra-curricular activities.
Ofsted will also change the way school reports are written so they are shorter and clearer.
They will tell parents what it’s like to be a child in that school, including what is done well and what could be done better.
Schools will still be given an overall effectiveness rating of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.
With these changes, Ofsted’s goal is to provide parents with the assurance they need, support leaders and teachers to excel, and make sure that all children are receiving a high- quality education that puts them on a path to future success.