Ofsted: latest updates

Updated on 17 July 2018

July 2018

17 July: Updated School Inspection Handbook published 

Ofsted’s made some minor changes to its  School Inspection Handbook, which include:

  • Further clarification on the inspection of religious education and collective worship added to the annex
  • More points added to its clarification for schools about what inspectors look at (these points are also covered in its updated mythbusting guidance)
  • Further explanation about the implications for schools causing concern

Read more about these changes.

9 July: HMCI discusses promotion of British values

HMCI Amanda Spielman addressed teachers’ uncertainty about how schools are expected to teach British values. She said that in her view, teachers are expected to give children a “proper understanding” of:

  • British values
  • What these values have contributed (and continue to contribute) to the strength and success of British society

In her speech to the Policy Exchange think tank, she also:

  • Rejected the suggestion that Ofsted has “an anti-faith school bias”
  • Expressed hope that Ofsted’s renewed focus on curriculum will encourage schools to think more about what they’re teaching and what they aim to get from that teaching

5 July: “No major changes” to inspection handbooks for September 2018

Sean Harford has revealed that Ofsted’s section 5 and section 8 inspection handbooks, which cover full and short inspections respectively, will not have major changes for September 2018.

He explains this in his message to inspectors in the July 2018 school inspection update, and says that this is in view of Ofsted’s revised framework for 2019 (page 2).

The inspection update also sets out guidance on what inspectors should be looking at regarding the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in schools (pages 5-7). It says that from September 2018 onwards, inspectors must ask school leaders:

  • Whether they are aware of the government’s ambition for the vast majority of pupils to study the EBacc
  • What they are planning and doing to reflect the EBacc subjects and ambition in their curriculum

However, inspectors won’t expect school leaders to:

  • Have developed or to present separate plans about the EBacc
  • Provide additional information outside of their normal curriculum planning

4 July: Ofsted trials new approach for inspections of MAT schools

Read about how Ofsted is revising its current practice for the inspection of schools in MATs, and how it hopes to improve the inspection experience for MAT leaders and their academies through a new approach it’s trialling this term.

HMCI Amanda Spielman revealed this in a speech at the Education Policy Institute conference. She’s also indicated that for its 2019 framework, Ofsted is considering how it can “take the inspection conversation even further on education itself and less on data”.

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