Ofsted have announced several changes they are looking to make between 2017 and 2022 as they attempt to improve their inspections across the nation.
Schools rated outstanding have been pinpointed as targets for Ofsted in their new set of plans with inspectors hoping to spend more time in such establishments. Such an idea will not go down particularly well with staff members of those perceived to be at the pinnacle of the industry but the pressure will be relieved on schools rated as good with the time permitted between their inspections extended to a longer period.
Multi-academy trusts are currently exempt from such inspections but Ofsted are keen to scrutinise the work presented by the growing number of partnerships. They are looking to work with the Department for Education to come to an agreement for new legislation.
School staff in all areas will be fearing the possibility of two separate inspections for one rating following a statement from the Association of School and College Leaders that Ofsted should separate their investigation of teaching and learning from compliance issues. The latter, which involves safeguarding, is likely to be scrutinised on a more regular basis than the quality of teaching.
However, the teaching industry will be buoyed by what appears to be progress in certain areas of Ofsted inspections. Following feedback from parents, they are looking at rating schools with more weighting based upon the uniqueness of each establishment rather than the same set of rules for everyone. Similarly, Ofsted are looking to ensure there is no ‘bias’ surrounding pre-conceived thoughts about schools in certain areas. They will do this by internal inspections of their own processes.
Finally, and perhaps key for numerous teaching staff, Ofsted will be reviewing their lesson observations in November to modernise the routine. They are then looking to provide supporting evidence to schools of what works well but are looking to ensure they do not take a one-dimensional route to such a method.