The word around schools and staff rooms is that satisfactory is no longer good enough. How can this be?
In January 2012 the new Framework for the Inspection of Schools came into force and it was updated in March 2012. Also in January 2012, Ofsted published supporting material such as ‘The evaluation schedule for the inspection of maintained schools and academies from January 2012’. For those in education who desire to understand the inspection process both documents need to be read. They may be found as follows:
The new framework requires fewer judgments than the previous version.
The evaluation schedule sets out the aspects of the school’s work that inspectors will evaluate, gives outline guidance about the evidence that inspectors may gather and grade descriptors to guide inspectors in making their judgements in the inspection of maintained schools and academies. These criteria are designed to be used by teachers and schools themselves in their self-evaluation activities.
The evaluation schedule should be interpreted in the context of each school being inspected. Inspectors will interpret grade descriptors in relation to pupils’ age, stage and phase of education.
The four judgments cover:
- the achievement of pupils at the school
- the quality of teaching in the school
- the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school
- the quality of leadership and management of the school.
The evaluation schedule for the inspection of maintained schools and academies only has two references to PROGRESSION which is taken to mean the next stage in education, training or employment. The word PROGRESS occurs many times and refers to progress aligned with learning and is relative to their starting point. The two areas of the schedule addressing progress are:
- Achievement of pupils at the school
- The quality of teaching
Groups of pupils:
Inspection is primarily about how individual pupils benefit from their school. It is important to test the school’s response to individual needs by observing how well it helps all pupils to make progress and fulfil their potential, especially those whose needs, dispositions, aptitudes or circumstances require particularly perceptive and expert teaching and/or additional support.
Achievement of pupils at school
This section deals with academic achievement. Achievement takes account of pupils’ attainment and their progress over time, together with the quality of learning and progress by different groups of pupils including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Inspectors will evaluate:
- how well pupils make progress relative to their starting points
- how well gaps are narrowing between the performance of different groups of pupils in the school and compared to all pupils nationally
- how well current pupils learn, the quality of their work in a range of subjects and the progress they have made since joining the school.
- how well disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs have achieved since joining the school
- the extent to which pupils develop a range of skills well, including reading, writing, communication and mathematical skills and how well they apply these across the curriculum
- the standards attained by pupils by the time they leave the school, including their standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
Ian will be running a workshop at the Science Teaching and Learning Conference on 25 June 2012, entitled Demonstrating Progress – What is Ofsted Looking For and How Can Teachers Influence the Inspector?
Have you recently been through an Ofsted inspection? Does Ian’s article match your experience? What can you add to Ian’s ideas on progress?