Matthew Purves on the Education Inspection Framework

Ofsted’s new education inspection
framework came into effect on the 2nd of September 2019 and we’re really excited
about it. It puts the real substance of education, the curriculum, back at the
heart of inspection and of the inspection conversation. It also
challenges the sometimes excessive focus that the sector has had in recent
years on data, on progress and attainment data and other sorts of data. Now let me
be really clear, standards matter. The standards and the qualifications that
our children young people achieve really matter for them and are their passport to
future success. But just focusing on the outputs, on the data, can lead to a
narrower curriculum for children at school, it can lead to teaching to the
test and it can lead to a worse education experience for our children and
young people. So the Education Inspection Framework balances that by focusing on
the curriculum. There are four key judgments in the new inspection
framework. First and most importantly the quality of education. And the quality of
education thinks about what it is that you want children to learn at your school.
And then it thinks about how those are translated into practice, how they’re
taught in the classroom over time. And then it thinks about, and how that leads
children to achieve. So it joins all of those things together in one educational
conversation. So that’s quality of education. The next judgement is behaviour
and attitudes, and at its bottom that means, can my child learn at this school?
When low-level disruption happens, is it dealt with quickly? Do leaders, teachers
and pupils know what to do and do they do it quickly?
When bullying occurs does the same thing happen, is it addressed quickly? Can my
child learn at this school? The third key judgment is personal
development and that asks, how the curriculum extends beyond just the
academic, technical or vocational. We know that school is a place where children
and young people learn all sorts of things about life. Where they develop their character, they
develop as citizens, they think about their future career and they think about
their values. And personal development gives schools and inspectors the chance
to talk about all of those wider things. And lastly the leadership and management
judgment. That thinks about how leaders support teachers to teach really well,
how leaders protect teachers from bullying and harassment, and also thinks
about the integrity of leaders and rewards leaders for resisting the urge
to narrow the curriculum or to engage in practices that aren’t in the best
interest of children. I should just add that safeguarding is a key part of that
leadership and management judgment and it’s absolutely at the heart of this
framework as it always has been. So those are the key judgments in the Education
Inspection Framework. Now alongside the new judgments we’ve also thought
about the way that we inspect and I’d really encourage you to go to our
website, there are so many free resources there, our research, videos about the
curriculum, but there’s one particular document, inspecting the curriculum, and
if you want any information about the way that inspectors will inspect under
the EIF that’s the place to go, and that’s what our inspectors are using to
make sure that the judgments they reach are valid and reliable. So thank you very
much for listening and best wishes with the new term.

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