As part of our engagement with school leaders on the new Education Inspection Framework, Schools North East yesterday held two sub-regional consultation events with school leaders. The input we receive will inform our response to Ofsted’s consultation, which closes in April.
Opinion was gauged using Slido, an online audience interaction tool, before delegates discussed the different aspects of the framework around their tables.
Leaders indicated strong support when asked, “Overall, is a new, curriculum-led framework a positive move forward?” and near unanimous support when asked, “Will this give North East schools better opportunity to give a good account of themselves?” Conversely, however, only 11% said they had confidence Ofsted would be able to deliver a curriculum-led inspection framework on the ground.
Leaders questioned how the emphasis on curriculum in the new framework would sit alongside the DfE’s preferred focus on exams results and league tables as the barometers by which schools should be judged.
The key proposal of a new “quality of education” judgement received majority support, while 100% agreed or strongly agreed with splitting the behaviour and personal development judgements.
Reaction to the proposal to extend inspections of “good” schools to 2 days was more mixed, with around 50% in favour and 40% opposed.
Delegates strongly opposed the idea of inspectors undertaking on-site preparation on the afternoon prior to inspection and the proposal to no longer look at non-statutory internal progress and attainment data received a mixed reaction.
Schools North East view
Ofsted argues the new framework will “make it easier to recognise and reward good work done by schools in areas of high disadvantage…” We very much welcome this commitment, though of course the devil will be in the detail. Currently there is significant evidence that Ofsted judgements lean against schools, particularly secondary schools, with high proportions of white, disadvantaged pupils.
The consultation runs until 5 April 2019. If you were unable to attend one of our events you can still inform our response by submitting your views online here.