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Education inspection framework for governors July 2019
Slides accompanying the webinar held in July 2019. Emma Knights, Chief Executive, National Governance Association and Matthew Purves, Deputy Director, Schools, Ofsted, discussed the new education inspection framework and what it means for governors. See the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvqA1SFiqOo&feature=youtu.be
We’ve invested a lot in the development of the new education framework and handbooks.
As we’ve previously stated this is an evolution not a revolution and we’re building on the 26 years of inspection experience. But we’re not just relying our inspection history. This is the most researched inspection framework in the history of Ofsted. We’ve been open about our research and have published research commentaries, blogs and videos about it. This has been received well – in particular we’ve had had very positive feedback to the curriculum workshops we ran and the videos have had more than 30,000 views.
We’ve taken testing our new framework and processes very seriously and we will have conducted pilot inspections with over 250 providers covering all the remits. We’ve learnt a lot from this valuable exercise and the feedback from providers helped to inform our decisions about the new inspection framework and handbooks.
We’ve tried to give as much information as possible about our proposals in the consultation. This is the first time that we shared the draft inspection handbooks as part of the consultation and it certainly generated a lot of opinions and debate.
This has been by far the largest response we’ve had to a Ofsted consultation. We are really grateful for everyone who has taken time to contribute their views, helping us to develop a better inspection framework.
The proposals generated a significant amount of interest. In total Ofsted received more than 15,000 responses to the consultation. This included almost 11,000 responses to the online questionnaire, more than 600 responses by email and post, and more than 4,000 responses as a result of a campaign by YoungMinds. We received responses as a result of two smaller campaigns regarding young carers and Steiner schools but, given their scale, we have considered these as part of the main consultation response. Even without the campaign this was the largest consultation in Ofsted’s history.
The consultation exercise included more than 150 face-to-face events and took place alongside the largest programme of piloting that Ofsted has ever undertaken, with more than 250 pilots taking place.
We have considered all suggestions that have been made through the prism of what is practical. Many special interest groups have lobbied vigorously to have their particular cause or passion given greater prominence in inspection. If we adopted every suggestion, we’d have the weightiest inspection model in the western world, rather than one of the lightest, as we do at the moment.
When reviewing the comments to decide how they can be used to improve the framework, we considered the interests of children first and foremost, their parents and of course of schools and the wider education sector. And that order – children first, parents, providers – is important, because it reminds us not only of the core reason why Ofsted exists, but also of the multiple purposes that our inspections must serve.
This presentation summarises the responses to the consultation that were received and what we are doing in response.
Schools in England have made real improvements over the past two decades. However, an accountability system that is over-dependent on performance data is a barrier to further improvement.
There is ample evidence of the extent to which the accountability system, as currently constructed, can divert schools from the real substance of education. We’ve seen a ‘school improvement’ industry develop. These consultants push approaches to achieving performance table improvements in ways that did not require any improvement in underlying education quality. No-one contemplated the unintended consequences of performance tables.
The focus on data across the system means that what young people learn is too often coming second to the delivery of performance table data.
The school culture of defending and managing outcomes has extended into defending against and managing Ofsted inspections. Far too much time, work and energy is spent on preparing everything that Ofsted might possibly expect to see.
Over time, the main thrust of the typical inspection conversation has come to be about recent outcomes, assessment of current ‘pupil progress’ and expectations of future progress.
Schools have responded to this with workload-intensive management models that focused on data and prediction. Perhaps most important of all, these distortions have the greatest negative effect on the children we should care about the most – the most disadvantaged and the least able.
In September 2017, we published our corporate strategy for the following 5 years. It’s available on the .gov website if you would like to read it. At the heart of the strategy we pledged to be a force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focussed inspection and regulation.
The new framework and the reforms proposed in the consultation will play a significant role in enabling Ofsted to fulfil the objectives set out in our strategy and is intended to: ensure that education inspection focuses on the real substance of education, the curriculum allow Ofsted to play its part in helping to reduce unnecessary workload for teachers, leaders and inspectors help ensure that all learners have access to high-quality education.
We are clear that we need to take a rounded view of the quality of education offered by schools and providers.
The curriculum will be at the core, recognising the close connection between curricular content and the way that this content is taught and assessed in order to support children to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge as skills.
We remain very interested in children and learners’ wider development including the attitudes and behaviours they bring to the classroom. Schools’ and providers’ leadership and management is likely to remain a key area of consideration.
Having taken account of the full range of views, the intended benefits of this proposal and the findings from piloting, we have decided to proceed with introducing the proposed focus of these section 8 inspections and extending the length to two days for most schools. Two-day section 8 inspections have been tested through our programme of pilots and feedback from both inspectors and school leaders indicates that the additional time on-site is a positive change, allows for greater professional dialogue, and enables the inspector to better gather evidence under the new framework.
We are mindful of the impact, however, that this proposal could have on teachers’ and leaders’ workload in small schools. For this reason, good or non-exempt outstanding schools with a 150 or fewer pupils on roll will continue to receive a one day inspection. The focus of section 8 inspections of these will remain the same as for larger schools. This approach for small schools was piloted during the spring term and we are confident that inspectors are able to gather high-quality evidence to enable them to confirm whether a school remains good.
We have carefully considered all responses and the positive findings from piloting, on balance, we have decided to proceed with inspectors not looking at non-statutory progress and attainment data during school inspections.
However, to seek to allay concerns, we have made clarifications in the school inspection handbook. We have recognised that school leaders draw on a variety of sources when considering pupil performance, including internal assessment information. We have explained that inspectors will consider the actions taken by schools in response to whatever internal assessment information they have and to review the impact of those actions without reviewing the assessment information itself.
There was concern about published national data, which can be dated, carrying more weight under the education inspection framework 2019. This is not the case. Inspectors will use nationally published data about pupil performance as a starting point – and only ever a starting point. Consequently, an absence of national, published data will not disadvantage those schools that do not have it.
Concerns have also been raised about the fact that published national data has particular limitations in certain types of schools. For this reason, the handbook makes clear that, where a school is in the process of improving from a low point (sometimes referred to as schools in turnaround), nationally generated performance data may lag the current quality of education in the school and so inspectors will view the national data in this context. In addition, we have amended the section in the handbook that relates to junior, middle and studio schools, and university technical colleges, to highlight the particular caveats and limitations in nationally published progress data in relation to these schools. Inspectors will take this into account.
We realise that this change is a significant and important one and so it has been a focus during pilots. It has worked well during piloting. Where schools have made changes since national data was published and current pupils know and can do more than the previous cohort, or have no published data, leaders have explained their assessment of current progress and attainment to inspectors. Inspectors are able to listen carefully to this assessment, some of which may have been drawn from the leaders’ understanding of their internal assessment information, exploring and probing leaders’ actions effectively.
What inspectors are most interested in, in relation to leaders’ use of internal assessment information, is the conclusions that have been reached and the action that has been taking based on those conclusions. Inspectors have then focussed on seeing first-hand evidence. What inspectors have not done, is carry out an in-depth analysis of the school’s data or what leaders believe it is saying about current pupils’ progress or attainment. This is the essence of this change. We are putting the emphasis on inspectors testing whether the leaders’ actions have led to improvements or sustained high performance in the context of what is really going on in a school.
The school inspection handbook has been updated to better reflect the intention of the proposal and how it will work in practice, and to clarify how the sources of evidence and the range of inspection activities will be used to gather evidence and arrive at judgements.
So as to align with the approach to be taken in school inspections, in further education and skills providers, inspectors will not look at internal progress and attainment data on GCSE and A-level courses where fixed-time terminal examinations comprise the entire assessment of the course. The further education and skills inspection handbook has been updated to reflect this.
(This is a recap of what was proposed in the consultation.) We proposed the introduction of a new ‘quality of education’ judgement with the curriculum as the central focus.
Inspectors look at teaching, assessment, attainment and progress under the current inspection framework, and they will continue to do so, but these considerations will contribute, viewed in the context of the provider’s curriculum, to a single quality of education judgement. In short, we proposed to take a holistic approach to considering the quality of education rather than artificially separating the leadership of the curriculum from teaching, and separating teaching and the use of assessment from the impact this has on the outcomes that learners achieve. This will de-intensify the inspection focus on performance data and place more emphasis on the substance of education and what matters most to learners and practitioners.
Ask Matthew if he wants to explain any more about the need for change
Purpose of slide: to clarify Ofsted’s position Boards should ‘test’ the culture by e.g. Noting how they are checked in and out of school buildings and how staff know who they are Speaking to children about how safe they feel, bullying, which adults they can talk to etc. Speaking to staff about their knowledge of policies and systems and who they would speak to if they had a concern In MATs, LGBs should be clear how they can feed in their local knowledge to trustees and how they would escalate concerns
Transitional period We recognition that not all schools will have had the opportunity to complete the process of adopting or constructing their curriculum fully by September 2019, therefore, we have built into the handbook a transitional period which we will review in 2020.
A flexible approach Schools taking radically different approaches to the curriculum will be judged fairly. The inspectorate recognises the importance of schools’ autonomy to choose their own curriculum approaches. If leaders are able to show that they have thought carefully, that they have built a curriculum with appropriate coverage, content, structure and sequencing and are able to show that it has been implemented effectively, then inspectors will assess a school’s curriculum favourably.
Using consultants Leaders from across the country have been reporting that their inboxes are full of offers from consultation firms promising to take them through the new Ofsted education inspection framework (EIF). This was even before our public consultation began on the proposed new framework!
There is nothing mysterious here. The quality of education is about schools and trusts thinking about the curriculum carefully for themselves.
Our surveys, as well as anecdotal data from many other sources, show that some of this training or consultation has been about improving results in the shortest possible time. Our new framework moves away from data-driven accountability, which we hope will counteract some of the market forces that can pressurise schools to force up attainment in a way that does not embed children’s long-term learning.
Education inspection framework for governors July 2019
Education inspection framework:
Inspecting the substance of education
Education inspection framework Slide 1
Emma Knights, NGA
Matthew Purves, Ofsted
Education inspection framework Slide 2
27 years of inspecting education
Most research-informed framework
Research shared publicly
Largest ever number of pilot inspections
More than 250 pilot inspections
Sharing draft inspection handbooks
First time we’ve consulted on the handbooks
Ofsted’s biggest ever consultation
Education inspection framework Slide 3
The consultation responses
More than 15,000 responses
Almost 11,000 responses to online
Over 600 email responses
Over 4,000 responses as a result of
Over 150 face to face engagement events
Over 400 people joined external webinars
16 January - 5 April 2019
The EIF: the case for change
Currently, the accountability system can divert schools from the
real substance of education.
What young people learn is too often coming second to delivering
Teaching to the test and a narrow curriculum have the
greatest negative effect on the most disadvantaged
and the least able children.
The EIF puts the curriculum at the heart of
the new framework, putting the focus on the
substance of education.
Education inspection framework Slide 4
Ofsted strategy 2017–22
The curriculum at the heart of inspection.
No need to produce progress and attainment
data ‘for Ofsted’, helping reduce unnecessary
All pupils should have access to a high-quality
education – challenging gaming and ‘off-
Education inspection framework Slide 5
‘A force for improvement through intelligent,
responsible and focused inspection and regulation’
The new framework
Education inspection framework Slide 6
Quality of education Personal development
Behaviour and attitudes
EIF 2019 – proposed inspection judgements
75% of the public
and sector agreed
or strongly agreed
78% of the public &
sector agreed or
Increasing the length of section
8 inspections from one day to
two days for most schools
Schools with a 150 or fewer
pupils on roll will continue to
receive a one day inspection
The two day inspection will
apply to all special schools and
pupil referral units.
Education inspection framework
Most inspections will last 2 days
Education inspection framework Slide 8
Inspectors will not look at non-
statutory progress and attainment
Inspectors will ask what leaders
understand about progress and
attainment in the school, and will then
say ‘let’s see that first-hand, together’
Inspectors will consider the actions
taken by schools in response to
their understanding of progress and
attainment, and the impact of these
‘Inspectors will not look at non-statutory
internal progress and attainment data’
Safeguarding children is at the heart of
Safeguarding within our inspections is built around three
Identify: are leaders and other staff identifying
the right children and how do they do that?
Help: what timely action do staff within the
provider take and how well do they work with
Manage: how do responsible bodies and staff
manage their statutory responsibilities and in
particular, how do they respond to allegations
about staff and other adults?
Education inspection framework
The 3 core functions of those responsible for
ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
holding leaders to account for the educational performance
of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance
management of staff
overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and
making sure its money is well spent.
Governance handbook, DfE, January 2017
Education inspection framework Slide 10
Governance and inspection
Inspectors will ensure that meetings are with those who are
directly responsible for exercising governance of the school
and for overseeing its performance.
As with the meetings between inspectors and pupils, parents
and staff, meetings with those responsible for governance
should take place without the headteacher or senior staff.
The contribution of governors to the school’s performance is
evaluated as part of the judgement on the effectiveness of
leadership and management.
Education inspection framework Slide 11
When we inspect schools that are part of MATs, sometimes clarity
is lost between MAT governance and local functions:
The place of local governing bodies is often confused.
Schemes of delegation are not always as clear as they need
MAT leadership and management comes from the executive
team; oversight and governance comes from trustees and
Inspectors will pay particular attention to understanding your
Education inspection framework Slide 12
Governance and inspection - MATs
Curriculum design, coverage,
appropriateness and delivery
Assessment (formative and summative)
Attainment and progress
(including national tests and assessments)
Readiness for the next stage of education
Quality of education judgement
The new quality of education judgement puts the real substance of
education, the curriculum, at the heart of inspection.
Inspectors will have a connected, educationally-focused conversation,
Education inspection framework
Thank you for the consultation you undertook
Hot of the press figures from our 2019 Annual Governance Survey
Do you support the proposed new Ofsted inspection framework?
89% of 4,063 respondents to that question answered yes
From our 2018 Annual Governance Survey
78% of respondents felt our most recent Ofsted report(s) gave a fair and
accurate picture of the school(s)
HMCI at NGA’s summer conference:
The core functions of school governance
In all types of schools, governing boards (GBs) have
four core functions:
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic
2. Holding the executive leaders to account for the
educational performance of the school and its
pupils, and performance of staff;
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the
organisation and making sure its money is well
4. Ensuring decisions take into account the views
and experiences of stakeholders (pupils, parents,
staff and the community)
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
What are the school’s values and vision?
Where are we now?
How do we get there?: strategic priorities
How do we know if we are getting there?
Do we measure what we value?
Questions: how will inspectors begin a
conversation with governors/trustees about
the 1st core function?
Will we begin to see inspection reports
which cover this key aspect of governance?
Holding the executive leaders to account for the
educational performance of the school and its pupils,
and performance of staff
how will inspectors begin a conversation with governors/ trustees
about the 2nd core function?
what will inspectors expect governing boards to be seeing both in
reports from senior leaders but also from other sources?
We know inspectors won’t want to see internal progress data, but
there is some concern they may dictate to governing boards what
they should and shouldn’t be requesting in order to carry out their
Overseeing the financial performance of the
organisation and making sure its money is well spent
how will inspectors judge this 3rd core function?
inspectors do not tend to be financial experts; how will they be
equipped to do this?
Use of the pupil premium
Inspectors will gather evidence about the use of the pupil premium,
1 The level of pupil premium funding received by the school in
the current academic year and levels of funding received in
previous academic years
2 How leaders and governors have spent the pupil premium,
their rationale for this spending and its intended impact
3 The learning and progress of disadvantaged pupils, as shown
by published outcomes data
Common questions (myths!)
Education inspection framework Slide 21
What if I’m in the
process of changing my
There will be a
We will review the
position after a year.
Is there an ‘Ofsted
No. We support
Different schools taking
approaches to the
curriculum will be
Should I get advice
from a consultant or
buy in specific
No! There is nothing
mysterious here. The
quality of education is
about schools and
trusts thinking about
the curriculum carefully
Education inspection framework Slide 22