One of the key changes is a shift towards inspecting what is actually taught in schools, with a new ‘Quality of Education’ judgement now forming a weighty segment of Ofsted reports. It’s clear from Amanda Spielman’s public pronouncements that she had become deeply concerned about a narrowing of education, caused (at least in part) by the inspectorate’s focus on certain specific outcomes.
As the accountability agenda tightened its screw over the last couple of decades, parents and teachers became increasingly worried by the trend for heads, especially in primary schools, to dedicate an ever-increasing proportion of their precious resources towards Maths and English, at the expense of a broad school experience.
Parents have broadly welcomed the Chief Inspector’s recognition of this damaging situation and decisive action towards improving it, which, if concerns over the subjectivity of judgments can be addressed, ought to lead to England’s education system producing more balanced, rounded citizens.
In practice, what does this mean that Ofsted inspectors are looking for? Recent reports reveal that there is particular evidence schools definitely need to be ready to provide: you’ll have to show what is taught in each subject in each year group. If you do this well, you can expect your report to feature positive comments:
If you don’t manage to get this quite right, you may attract the inspector’s ire:
Ofsted have also been focusing intently on the quality of the communication between teachers, parents, carers and governors towards delivering these plans. Schools are being overtly praised for doing this well:
We know that Ofsted is a major contributor to stress levels in schools, and we sympathise with teachers trying to navigate the changes. Fortunately, we can help. Faronics Wise squarely meets Ofsted’s needs, allowing you to lay out your schemes of work and lesson plans in a user-friendly way for everyone to access easily, so that you’re not caught on the hop by any question about your curriculum. We can also help you boost parental visibility - you can send texts to bespoke groups of parents at the push of a button, and our parental portal allows parents to see real-time information relating to homework, behaviour or attendance. Faronics Wise combines all your vital operations in one place, keeping everyone on the same page when Ofsted call.
Tom Guy, Product Manager, Faronics Wise