Chief inspector on Ofsted’s expectations of schools
March 23, 2018
Speakingto the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference on Saturday 10 March, Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman covered a wide range of issues relating to inspection and Ofsted’s role in tackling unnecessary teacher workload.
Since taking up the post early last year, the Chief Inspector has placed increased emphasis on the substance of what is taught in schools. In her speech, she acknowledged that Ofsted has not put enough emphasis on curriculum in the past and argued that “success in [accountability] measures should flow from a rich curriculum, rather than tests of all kinds and performance tables dictating the curriculum itself”.
Other key points raised in the speech included:
Ofsted do not expect schools to undertake any special preparation, such as “Ofsted-ready files” or “mocksteds”
based on initial feedback, Ofsted feel that recent changes to short inspection are working well
schools will no longer be automatically judged ‘inadequate’ if inspectors find that they ‘require improvement’ for the third inspection in a row
inspectors “have moved away from a compliance approach” to safeguarding, for example commenting on the height of fences, and towards emphasis on “a good safeguarding culture… throughout the school”
inspectors are no longer requesting anonymised reports on the number of teachers achieving pay progression
Ofsted have redesigned inspection data reports, trained inspectors and put in place a new support desk to ensure that data is not misused
a new question has been added to Ofsted’s staff questionnaire on whether school leaders take workload into account when setting policies
Ofsted are developing a new inspection framework for 2019 which, in order to tackle workload, will be “as sharply focused as possible on the things that matter most”