OFSTED; REPORT ON NEW FRAMEWORK FOR THE INSPECTION OF NON-ASSOCIATION INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS

New regime next year

Some concerns over no-notice inspections

Ofsted has published an evaluation report that summarises the responses to Ofsted’s consultation on its proposals for the revision to the framework for inspecting non-association independent schools from 1 January 2013.  The consultation proposed that, in future, key inspection judgements in independent school inspections will be made about: pupils’ achievement; pupils’ behaviour and safety; quality of teaching; quality of curriculum; spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; welfare, health and safety; and leadership and management. Other proposals included inspecting schools without prior notice; amending the inspection judgement ‘satisfactory’ to ‘adequate’; and introducing a different way of inspecting the education provided by children’s homes which are part of a group.  The following inspection proposals will be implemented from 1 January 2013. Ofsted will:

‘Revise the key inspection judgements

There was very strong support for the proposals for the revised key inspection judgements. We plan to implement these, with some minor revisions to those proposed for pupils’ behaviour and safety, and pupils’ moral, social and cultural development following feedback from trial inspections.

 Introduce a leadership and management judgement

There was very strong support for this proposal. We will implement this from January 2013.

Introduce a judgement for behaviour and personal development

This will include the school’s provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and its impact on pupils.

Retain the judgement on provision for pupils’ welfare, health and safety

There was strong support for retaining this judgement from the current framework.

 Introduce a judgement on pupils’ achievement

There was strong support for a judgement that enables inspectors to report both on the standards achieved by pupils in the school alongside the amount of progress pupils make relative to their starting points. This will be implemented from January 2013.

Change satisfactory to adequate

In maintained schools the grade ‘satisfactory’ is to become ‘requires improvement’. In the independent sector we will replace ‘satisfactory’ with ‘adequate’. This reflects the regulatory requirements for independent schools. The judgement of ‘adequate’ will apply to a school that is meeting minimum standards, but that is not good enough to be judged good. Inspection reports will be clear about why these schools are not yet good, what these schools need to do to improve, but will also reflect their strengths. This proposal was supported by consultation responses and will be implemented from January 2013.

Shorten the notice we give of an inspection

We will reduce the notice period to half a day in order to see schools as they really are, while ensuring that schools can make the necessary practical arrangements. We reserve the right to inspect without notice when required.

Improve the way we inspect children’s homes which provide education for a small number of looked after children, particularlythose which are part of a group .Although we received a number of neutral responses to this proposal, therewas strong support from providers to which it applies. We have recentlycarried out the first pilot inspection of education in a group of children’shomes and we will continue to work with the Department for Education(DfE) and with group providers to implement this change from January2013.  The responses to the consultation were strongly in favour of most of Ofsted’s proposals. However, responses varied considerably by respondent type in relation to no-notice inspections. The majority of parents agreed with proposals, but teachers and head teachers were against its introduction for practical reasons. The majority of those who replied – 47% – rejected no-notice inspections, 12% neither agreed nor disagreed and 40% supported the proposal. While most parents and carers – 64% – agreed with the idea, many teachers and ,head teachers – 59% – disagreed.

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