New Ofsted Inspection Framework Consultation

5th February, 2019

On the 16th January the government announced the opening of the consultation on a proposed new Ofsted Inspection Framework for early years, schools and colleges. After a chance to reflect, here is a reminder of the key things to know.

What’s staying the same?

Under the proposal, inspectors will continue to make an overall effectiveness judgement and all judgements will be awarded using the current 4-point grading scale.

What’s changing?

Less familiar to schools will be the new ‘quality of education’ judgement, which will sit alongside ‘behaviour and attitudes’; ‘personal development’; and ‘leadership and management’ as the four areas in which schools are proposed to be judged. There are also changes to inspection timings and the way inspectors prepare for inspection too.

Quality of Education Judgement

A significant amount of what is new is encapsulated in the ‘quality of education’ judgement. Built around their working definition of the curriculum, Ofsted propose to break down the judgement into three areas :

  • Intent - what it is that schools want for their pupils 
  • Implementation - how teaching and assessment fulfils the intent
  • Impact - the results and wider outcomes pupils achieve and the destinations they go on to.

In all three areas, the focus is very much on schools providing a coherent, ambitious, and broad-based curriculum which meets the needs of pupils. Inspectors will continue to look at teaching, assessment, attainment and progress, but now within the context of the provider’s curriculum. Positively, for the many schools where curriculum design and provision remains a priority, the consultation acknowledges that it takes a long time to develop an effective curriculum. Ofsted are clear that schools showing positive intentions will not be penalised.

Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development Judgements

Another of Ofsted’s proposals is to separate the judgement ‘personal development’ from ‘behaviour and attitudes’. This acknowledges that they have a very different focus and will mean behaviour and attitudes of pupils will be judged and evaluated separately to the provision designed to promote personal development.

Leadership & Management Judgement

In this version of the framework, leadership and management is given the role of ensuring safety, community engagement, staff training, and crucially enabling high quality curriculum provision. The focus on workload is also notable. Senior leaders are charged with ensuring staff workload is manageable; that assessment is fit for purpose and manageable and that resources are shared to make planning manageable.

Leaders are also judged responsible for improving staff’s subject, pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge to enhance the teaching of the curriculum and the appropriate use of assessment. Within this, it is proposed that inspectors will not use internal data as inspection evidence but will ask school leaders to explain “why they collect the data they do, what they draw from it and how it informs their curriculum and teaching”.

Inspection Timings and Inspector Preparation

Schools who are currently rated ‘good’ by Ofsted will see the length of short inspections double, from one day to two under the proposal. ‘Requires improvement’ schools will be given more time before re-inspection too, with the time frame in which ‘requires improvement’ schools should be inspected, changing from 12-24 months to 12-30 months.

An additional change to be aware of is the proposal to introduce on-site inspector preparation for all section 5 and 8 inspections. This would see inspectors arriving on site the afternoon before inspection to prepare, rather than inspectors preparing remotely as they do now. Ofsted’s view is that this would enable collaboration preparation.

Have your say

Schools and teachers have until the 5th April to have their say. Make sure your voice is heard!

The consultation will be open until 11.45pm on 5 April 2019.












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