Ofsted has announced the changes to its inspection framework that will be implemented from September 2012. The information below contains two sections highlighting some of the key changes – the first is for schools and the second is for further education colleges.
Listed below are the key changes that will affect the way maintained schools, academies and free schools will be inspected. From September Ofsted will:
This will not be applied retrospectively. It does not mean that every lesson seen during an inspection needs to be outstanding. It does, however, mean that over time teaching is enabling almost all pupils to make rapid and sustained progress.
Ofsted says grade descriptors will be clear that a school can be ‘good’ where pupils’ attainment is below average but they are making good progress. Ofsted will pay particular attention to how schools are using the pupil premium.
Inspection reports will be clear about why these schools are not yet good, what these schools need to do to improve, and their strengths.
Schools judged ‘satisfactory’ before the end of August 2012 will not be considered retrospectively as ‘requires improvement’. These schools are likely to be inspected again by the end of the academic year 2013/14.
Schools which are inadequate overall and require significant improvement but where leadership and management are not inadequate are likely to have ‘serious weaknesses’.
Schools which have been judged to require improvement will be subject to regular monitoring and a full section 5 re-inspection within a maximum period of two years (rather than 18 months as originally proposed). If at that inspection the school is still judged to require improvement, there will be further monitoring and another full section 5 inspection within two years. This gives a school up to four years to move from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’. If at this inspection the school is still not rated ‘good’, it is highly likely that it will be judged inadequate and to require special measures. However, there may be exceptions to this, for example, if there is a clear, sustained, upward trend, but the school is not yet good in all areas.
Ofsted has moved away from proposals to introduce no-notice inspections. Inspectors will normally contact the school by telephone during the afternoon of the working day prior to the start of the inspection.
Ofsted’s intention is to evaluate performance management arrangements, and consider whether there is a correlation between the quality of teaching and salary progression. Ofsted says it will take the necessary steps to ensure that no individual teacher is identified so that confidential information is not revealed.
Ofsted will continue to focus on four key aspects of a school’s work: achievement; teaching; behaviour and safety; and leadership and management. Ofsted will grade on a four-point scale: outstanding (grade 1), good (grade 2), requires improvement (grade 3) and inadequate – serious weaknesses or special measures (grade 4).
Listed below are the key changes that will affect the way further education and skills providers will be inspected. From September Ofsted will:
Providers will need to demonstrate outstanding teaching, learning and assessment in order to be judged outstanding overall. However, this does not mean that all teaching must be outstanding. There is no required proportion of lessons or training sessions that need to be outstanding for the provider to be judged outstanding for teaching, learning and assessment overall.
This will replace the current ‘satisfactory’ judgement.
From September Ofsted will re-inspect learning and skills providers judged as ‘requires improvement’ within 12 to 18 months. Providers who were graded satisfactory at their last inspection and up to the 31 August 2012 will be re-inspected, in most cases, by 31 August 2014. Similarly, those who were graded satisfactory at their previous two or more inspections will, in most cases, be re-inspected by 28 February 2014.
Providers who were previously judged to be satisfactory will keep their previous satisfactory grade until their next inspection. If, at that time, they have not yet made sufficient progress to be judged good, they may be judged as requires improvement again.
The number of times a provider can be judged as ‘requires improvement’ will usually be limited to two consecutive inspections before it is considered to be ‘inadequate’ for overall effectiveness. However, the lead inspector will consider what progress has been made and the judgement will not be automatic.
The notice given to learning and skills providers is currently three weeks. From September, this will be reduced and they will usually be given up to two working days’ notice. Providers will be notified by telephone.
During an inspection Ofsted will ask the provider for an anonymised summary of the outcomes of the most recent performance management of all teachers, trainers and assessors.
You can read ASCL’s response to the latest framework changes.
For further information on the frameworks, please see Ofsted’s website