Amanda Spielman uses Schools North East Summit speech to set out vision for future

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:

  1. Losing outcomes as a standalone judgement.
  2. Broadening the existing quality of teaching, learning and assessment judgement into a quality of education judgement.
  3. 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.


Media coverage of the Schools North East Summit 

Following the announcement by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman yesterday at the Schools North East Summit, many regional and national media picked up on the story which placed a spotlight on the North East.

You can see some of the coverage here:

The Guardian

Ofsted inspectors to stop using exam results as key mark of success

 The Independent

Ofsted to drop focus on exam results in school inspections, chief inspector says

FE News

Amanda Spielman sets out vision for new education inspection framework

The Telegraph

Ofsted to drop focus on exam results because curriculum is a ‘casualty’ of current system, chief inspector says

Amanda Spielman speech to the Schools North East summit

BBC News

Ofsted inspectors to move away from exams results focus

Channel 4

Ofsted to stop using exam results as key marker of success

The Times

Ofsted will look beyond exam grades to assess schools

Schools Week

Spielman to reveal new inspection judgment headings

Ofsted chief ‘horrified’ by accusations of knowledge bias in curriculum review


Spielman: Teachers ‘reduced to data managers’

Ofsted: ‘Our new inspections will reduce your workload’

Ofsted’s ‘shot across the bows’ for schools gaming the system

Financial Times

Ofsted head says focus Will shift away from exams

Education Links w/c 8th October – Chronicle Live, Labour criticises government record on North East education following £24 million funding announcement. – Chronicle Live, Is it enough? Here’s what North East teachers think of the Government’s £24m funding pledge. – Darlington & Stockton Times, Statistics watchdog tells Education Department of ‘serious concerns’ on data use. – Darlington & Stockton Times, £24m education fund will stop North-East being ‘left behind’. – The Northern Echo, World Teachers’ Day: Students learn best from risk-taking teachers, study finds. – Hartlepool Mail, Hartlepool boys less likely to pass Year 1 reading tests than girls. – Hartlepool Mail, School backs coaching firm run by ex-Pools boss. – Hartlepool Mail, Film festival will help educate Hartlepool schoolchildren through movies. – Sunderland Echo, Bodyguard actor returns to home to inspire college students. – Sunderland Echo, New partnership launched to promote education in Sunderland’s leisure industry. – Shields Gazette, South Tyneside school reading test figures spark debate. – Shields Gazette, Spending per pupil South Tyneside drops as teachers warn schools are ‘on their knees’. – Northumberland Gazette, VIDEO: Wooler First School’s new pupils are in fine voice. – Northumberland Gazette, Boost for education funding in Northumberland. – Northumberland Gazette, VIDEO: Sing-a-long with the new pupils at Swansfield Park Primary School.

Private school fees in minister’s funding claims

The figures quoted by Education Ministers defending their record on state school spending also included the money spent by parents on private school fees.

This has been confirmed by the OECD think tank that compiles the international comparisons of spending figures.

Head Teachers’ leaders say the Department for Education is “disrespecting” schools and teachers by this “extraordinary” use of statistics.

The Department for Education accepts that the spending claim is not limited to public spending on schools – but it stands by its use of the figure as “accurate”.

But the Heads warned that the department has “serious questions to answer” over its “veracity”.

This follows the discovery earlier this week that the spending claims quoted by the Department for Education were also counting the tuition fees being paid by university students.

Read the full article on the BBC.

Conservatives announce £10m behaviour training fund at Conference

The Education Secretary announced little that was new in his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday. Here we take a look at the projects mentioned.

None of the new projects are backed by new money from the Treasury, so they will need to be funded through the DfE’s existing budget.

  1. A £10m behaviour training fund and new guidance

Mr Hinds set out plans to spend £10 million on “improving training on behaviour for teachers” to ensure they are “able to manage behaviour and thrive in their primary task of teaching”. Ministers will also update government guidance on behaviour.

  1. More careers leaders and employer networks

The Secretary of State announced a further £5 million to go into training “careers leaders” in 500 schools, extending the number of schools affected to 1,300 and creating another 20 networks, making a total of 40.

  1. English Hubs named

The Department for Education has named 32 schools that will split £26.3 million to become “English Hubs”. This is an unexplained reduction in the 35 schools former Education Secretary Justine Greening announced would benefit in January.

In the North East, St Michael’s C of E Primary School and Westgarth Primary School will become English Hubs

  1. T-levels funding boost

The government will spend a further £38 million in its T-levels programme, a technical alternative to A-levels. The funding will be available from Spring 2019 to deliver the qualifications from September 2020. The Government says it will fund “the latest industry-standard equipment to ensure that qualifications meet the needs of employers”.

Neil Carmichael lifts lid on Education Committee at SCHOOLS NorthEast AGM

Neil Carmichael, former Chair of the Parliamentary Education Select Committee, addressed delegates at the SCHOOLS NorthEast Annual General Meeting last Friday, discussing the importance of education in driving economic growth and his extensive work with SCHOOLS NorthEast whilst chairing the Committee.

He opened the lid on the horse trading between Government departments to secure funding from the Treasury. Mr Carmichael said the NHS has an easier time securing funding because of the sense of pride people have in it, which is unfortunately not mirrored in the way people see the education system.

He mentioned his exasperation with Ministers’ belated recognition of the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching. Discussing the importance of evidence based education, he also recalled challenging Ministers as Chair of the Committee on the lack of evidence to support their claims that an expansion of grammar schools would be a boon for social mobility.

The SCHOOLS NorthEast AGM is attended by Trustees, Board members and representatives from our Partner Schools. To find out more about our Partner School scheme, click here.  

DfE looking at incentivising school collaboration to cut exclusions

The minister responsible for SEND and disadvantaged children has said he wants to explore ways to encourage schools to work together to not exclude pupils.

Nadhim Zahawi was speaking at a meeting on reducing exclusions and closing the gap for children with SEND at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

He raised the issue of off-rolling pupils, where parents are encouraged to remove their children from the school roll to avoid a formal exclusion.

He said: “I want to be crystal clear that such activity is illegal, unethical and will not be tolerated.

“I have already said that an excluded child is clearly at a severe disadvantage compared to their non-excluded peers.

“Arguably, an excluded pupil with a special educational need is at an even greater disadvantage, not only does an excluded pupil with SEN lose what their non-SEN counterparts would lose, but they also lose any additional SEN support their school provides them.”

Read the full article in Tes.

Department for Education school funding claims face investigation

The UK’s statistics watchdog is to investigate Department for Education claims over school spending.

It follows BBC News reports which showed that figures quoted by education ministers defending their record on state school spending included the money spent by university students on tuition fees and parents on private school fees. This was also reported in the Weekly Update this week.

Head Teachers’ leaders have accused the department of “disrespecting” schools and teachers by this “extraordinary” use of statistics, warning it has “serious questions to answer”.

The Department for Education accepts that the spending claim is not limited to public spending on schools – but stands by its use of the figures as “accurate”.

The investigation – by the UK Statistics Authority, the watchdog which prevents the misleading use of figures – has been confirmed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) think tank, which compiles the international comparisons of spending figures.

Read more on this article on the BBC.

Education Links w/c 1st October 2018 – Chronicle Live, Ofsted results for North East schools: How do inspectors say they are performing? – Darlington & Stockton Times, Schools and colleges to receive £114m funding boost. – Darlington & Stockton Times, Schools must feature anti-racist messages across the curriculum, MSP says. – Darlington & Stockton Times, Schools exclusion system ‘absolutely flawed’ says former gangster. – Darlington & Stockton Times, Darlington’s Polam Hall School reveals plans to close sixth form. – The Northern Echo, Council opens consultation into special education needs provision in Darlington. – The Northern Echo, Darlington pupils brew up a boost for cancer charity. – The Northern Echo, Durham Sixth Form Centre for an outstanding future. – The Northern Echo, Burst water pipe gets pupils out of school early in Bishop Auckland.  – Hartlepool Mail, School wins gold award for putting children’s rights at heart of work. – Hartlepool Mail, Ex Microsoft Chief immortalised as part of 17m school development in Hartlepool. – Sunderland Echo, Sunderland student rated one of the nation’s top GCSE students heard results while trapped in monsoon flooding in India. – Sunderland Echo, Mobiles and games consoles playing havoc with children’s sleep patterns – says university expert. – Hexham Courant, Students struggling with mental health. – Hexham Courant, Haltwhistle Campus parents to be consulted on age range changes. – Hexham Courant, Ponteland High School to get temporary classrooms. – Hexham Courant, Leven Valley Primary School praised by education watchdog. – Shields Gazette, Sunderland AFC star hails the importance of education during visit to school annual awards. – Shields Gazette, South Shields School drives into car design competition final. – Northumberland Gazette, Spending per pupil falling in Northumberland. – Northumberland Gazette, VIDEO: The wheels on the bus are going round and round at St Michael’s! – Berwick Advertiser, Illustrator visits Berwick Middle School.

Schools hit with rising pension costs

Schools have been told that they must increase contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme by 43% from next year.

Following a government review into public sector pension schemes, schools were told in an email this week that employer contributions will rise to 23.6% from September 2019. The current rate is 16.48%.

The email states that funding will be available from the Department for Education to “help” maintained schools and academies meet the additional costs.

The email, sent by Employer Link on behalf of the Department for Education, states: “There will be funding from the DfE for the financial year 2019-20 to help maintained schools and academies meet the additional costs resulting from the scheme valuation, and a consultation process will take place to determine final funding arrangements. Funding for 2020-21 onwards will be discussed as part of the next spending review round.”

Read the full article on Tes.