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A call to action - what we would like from you for 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: common inspection framework, OfstedMyths

Sean Harford

As the term winds down and people start to plan for the Christmas period, I’d like to thank all our readers of this blog for their interest and engagement.

At Ofsted we place huge importance on communication about inspection. Over the year you will have read of the independent complaints panel we have introduced, about short inspections, inspection timescales, government proposals for Ofsted inspections and much more.

In May I wrote of my SLT chat about teacher workload. And I hope you will not have missed the emphasis we have placed on busting myths about Ofsted over this year.

We know that the five most popular blogs have been on –

  • short inspections
  • updates to school inspection handbooks
  • busting myths on Ofsted inspections
  • dispelling the rumours around inspection
  • school governors and inspection.

Next year, along with our usual announcements on this blog, I would like to look in detail at what more you, as teachers and senior leaders of schools, want to know about inspection.

What are the burning issues? Are there more myths out there that need busting? Do new intakes of teachers have different questions?

I know that any inspection is going to be a tense time. Are there any elements of inspection practice that require more clarity, or areas and subjects that need more explanation?

Engagement and communication with all of you is important to us. So please do get in touch and let us know how we can get better at both. In the meantime, I hope you can all enjoy a well-deserved break over the Christmas period to recharge your batteries ready for the New Year.

You can keep up-to-date with Ofsted news by signing up for email alerts. You can also follow Ofsted on Twitter.


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  1. Comment by Terry Pearson posted on

    Sean, I would like to take up the invitation to let you know what more I would like to know about inspection.

    It has been almost 2 years since Ofsted made a commitment to ‘testing’ the reliability of inspection findings yet no results of Ofsted investigations have been made public, not even an interim report. Just how long does Ofsted need to ‘test’ the trustworthiness of its own inspections?

    Maybe Ofsted should respond to a call for action. What I, and perhaps many others, would like from Ofsted in early 2017 is a detailed report on the reliability ‘tests’ that have been carried out during this two-year period which makes absolutely clear the methodology used for the ‘tests’ so that we can all see what was tested, how it was tested and what the findings were.

    I might then have greater faith in Ofsted’s claim that it places ‘huge importance on communication about inspection’.

  2. Comment by Simon Kidwell posted on

    I would like to understand how variable attainment at KS1 will be judged when progress from entry to the end of KS2 could be classified as outstanding.

  3. Comment by Anon posted on

    What happens if management seem blissfully unaware of mythbusting, for instance, for marking? I have tried to make the point on several occasions that the mythbusting is of little comfort to the classroom teacher who has to follow school policies. I have previously suggested that all management including the head have at least 25% teaching timetable which includes ownership of a large year 9 core subject and a year 11 GCSE class not top set. Throughout the year, they could demonstrate how they themselves are keeping up with marking policies. There would also be some results that they are personally accountable for. If this happened management would be slower to invent burdensome policies or judge results. The way to enforce the timetabling issue for SLT is to measure, inspect, and report on it.

  4. Comment by Mrs Skinner posted on

    Hi there,

    Perhaps you can help with a 'myth' that we were left with by our Lead HMI, Theresa Phillips.
    We were told that if we got RI for Leadership and Management, it is a limiting judgement and so were given RI overall, despite achieving GOOD in all other areas.
    The same HMI has just inspected Aylesford Primary School in Kent, not far from us, and given them GOOD overall, despite giving them RI for Leadership and Management (with a list of failings that far exceed ours.

  5. Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

    The handbook states: Other than in exceptional circumstances, it is likely that, where the school is judged to require improvement in any of the key judgements, the school’s overall effectiveness will require improvement.

    We cannot comment on specific inspection outcomes.

  6. Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

    Hi Terry, we’re sharing the detailed findings of our reliability tests with our independent expert group early in the new year. Their comments may lead us to make changes or improvements. Once the expert group has discussed the findings with us, our plan is to publish them in full.

  7. Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

    Hi Simon, Inspectors will give most weight to the progress of current pupils in all year groups and take into account historic data, including for the Early Years Foundation Stage, phonics, key stage 1 and key stage 2. Historic data for any one cohort will not determine a judgement. I hope that's helpful.

  8. Comment by Terry Pearson posted on

    That is great news Michele. Looking forward to reading the detailed report of the testing methodology and the findings. Thank you for providing the update.