Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman, set out her vision for the new Education Inspection Framework in her keynote address to the School North East Summit yesterday.
Ms Spielman said that outcomes will no longer be a separate judgement in a school’s overall grading, instead it would form part of a wider education grade.
In total, she outlined three proposed changes that will make a fundamental difference to the way inspections are conducted:
- Losing outcomes as a standalone judgement.
- Broadening the existing quality of teaching, learning and assessment judgement into a quality of education judgement.
- Splitting the current judgement of personal development, behaviour and welfare into 2 separate judgements: one for behaviour and attitudes and the other for personal development.
She shared some of the reasoning behind the planned changes to inspection and reflected on how they will affect schools serving children from more disadvantaged areas.
Ms Spielman said: “While I think that current performance measures are as good as they have ever been in capturing outcomes, I want to make sure that at Ofsted, we focus on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’: the essence of what performance tables cannot capture. This will let us reward schools for doing the right thing by their pupils.
“That doesn’t mean there will be no link between what we find about the quality of education, and what the published data says. They are, one hopes, somewhat correlated. But inspection should be a slightly different conversation. It should ask a different question. We want to know what is being taught and how schools are achieving a good education, not just what the results are looking like.”
The HMCI said Ofsted has in the past not placed enough emphasis on the curriculum, focusing too much on outcomes when considering the overall effectiveness of schools.
Under the new framework she said Ofsted would challenge schools where too much time is spent on preparation for tests at the expense of teaching, where pupil’s choices are narrowed, or where children are pushed into less rigorous qualifications simply to boost league table positions.
She said “Inspection absolutely should not just be about putting a judgement sticker on a school. What we are about is making sure that in the process of coming to that judgement, we are supporting schools. That we are being that force for improvement.”
A consultation on the new framework will be launched in January and it will come into force in September 2019.
The full transcript of the speech is available here.
The TES report on her speech can be found here.