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An Inspector Calls - Ofsted update

You may have noticed that current Ofsted inspection frameworks and criteria for both full inspections (Section 5) and short inspections (Section 8) remain the same. Furthermore, Ofsted are not going to look at any changes to the framework or criteria for making judgements in the near future.

So what does this mean for schools?

Short inspections - The lead inspector will agree with school leadership the areas to focus on in the one-day visit. They will also look at whether safeguarding is effective.

Full inspections - A team will visit the school over a two-day period and look at all aspects of the school.

Tall stories…

One ‘myth’ that needs addressing is around schools that have been judged as ‘Requiring Improvement’ over a number of inspections: there is actually no expectation for inspectors to put the school in a category for having been a ‘double RI’. Lead inspectors will instead make judgements that are fair and based on evidence presented by the school.

Also, as of January 2018, short inspections no longer need to be converted  unless there are serious concerns around safeguarding, behaviour, or if the quality of education has seriously declined. Instead, lead inspectors will evaluate the provision along agreed lines of enquiry and then make a judgement. There are three outcomes the lead inspector can make:

  • School remains good – cycle of re-inspection up to 5 years (another Section 8 )
  • School remains good but there is some outstanding practice – next inspection will be between 24-30 months and will be a Section 5
  • School remains good but there is some practice that requires improvement – next inspection will be between 24-30 months and will be a Section 5

On the horizon . . .

Inspectors are looking at how the curriculum is meeting the needs of all pupils in settings, primary, secondary and post-16 provisions. School leaders therefore need to be able to explain the rationale behind choices made, including if you have opted to teach the shorter KS3 . One key aspect Inspectors will assess is how well the provision  is developing and deepening knowledge and application of skills across different areas.  . . . keep a watchful eye out as more information emerges – we’ll share it with you and keep you up to date of any changes that might have an impact.


Jen Cave, Lead Adviser and Ofsted Inspector