With the introduction of the Common Inspection Framework, the incremental changes that have taken place within the inspectorate over the past two years have finally come to fruition.
We now have a fresh workforce taking a fresh approach.
Where We Stand
70% of team inspectors are serving practitioners.
HMI leads on training.
All inspectors will be very closely monitored to ensure they consistently provide the highest quality service.
Headteachers are to sit on complaints panels to bring greater transparency to the process.
We are closer to holding ourselves to account as a professional body than ever before.
The Common Inspection Framework
The introduction of the Common Inspection Framework is designed to provide a common language across a wider range of educational providers that will be more accessible and more easily understood by parents and pupils alike.
The short inspection focuses on schools that are currently judged to be good.
The HMI conducting the inspection starts from that premise.
Through a professional dialogue with HMI it is incumbent on the leadership team to demonstrate why the school remains at least good.
What’s Expected of School Leaders
School leaders must shape what will be a packed but tightly scheduled day.
They must take the lead and highlight what the school does well, and demonstrate they have clear, consistent and robust methods of self-evaluation that lead to appropriate actions that improve the outcomes for pupils.
It is this self-evaluation process that is at the heart of the short inspection. All leaders must prove their value.
The Key Questions
Whether it is a short or a two day inspection, evidence of the impact of leaders is gained from answering key questions such:
- How accurate is the school’s view of its context?
- Is it evident the school has developed an appropriate pedagogy relevant to the context that is understood and applied by all stakeholders?
- How effectively has leadership been distributed and are all leaders willing to ‘confront brutal truths’?
- Is the time that leaders spend on analysing hard ‘data’ balanced effectively with the regular collection and triangulation of ‘information’ that demonstrates pupil progress and informs actions for improvement?
- Is good practice consistent across the school/academy? How do leaders know i.e. do all pupils agree that feedback is helping them to improve?
- Do groups of pupils and parents agree that homework helps with their learning?
- Do leaders and teachers have the highest expectations of their pupils?
I have the good fortune to be able to work with school leaders across the country and they are all passionate about their work and the impact they are having on the lives of children.
This fresh approach taken by Ofsted is designed to provide a platform for such discussions to take place with HMI and inspection teams within a far more development model of inspection than previous regimes.
Get in Touch
If you still have questions about the Common Inspection Framework or want to talk about different options, join me on twitter @FocusKAD or for resources and publications related to inspection, get in touch with the Focus Education office on 01457 821 818.
Preparing for an Ofsted Inspection
Auditing the Intent, Implementation and Impact of each National Curriculum Subject
Ofsted Evaluation Schedule
Keith has served as associate headteacher in schools with vulnerable and challenging circumstances, headteacher in three schools, before becoming a Local Authority officer. He has established headteacher mentoring schemes and lead national improvement programmes across the Learning Authority.