Ofsted chief indicates future direction

In a speech to the Bryanston Education Summit, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman set out three principles informing the development of the 2019 Ofsted framework:

  1. Giving schools more than a grade: inspection reports should give a clear assessment of strengths and weaknesses, with a focus on capacity, and insight into what is distinctive about a school;
  2. Using data appropriately: ensuring that there is “no reward for gaming” and “focusing on the key data that really matters” rather than scrutinising every sub-group of pupils at school level;
  3. Wider societal issues: avoiding a situation “where schools are expected to address every one of society’s ills and inspection is supposed to be the tool to ensure they do it”.

On improving the process of inspection for school leaders and staff, she said: “I want to make sure as much inspection resource as possible is on site engaging with leaders and teachers, having those professional conversations, not just polishing written reports.”

Spielman also emphasised the importance of ensuring inspection reports provide parents with useful information about schools, including information that is up to date. She related that Ofsted are currently in discussions with the Department for Education on reviewing ‘outstanding’ schools’ exemption from inspection.

Spielman spoke about the role of Ofsted in providing information about school performance for those responsible for intervening in schools, such as regional schools commissioners and local authorities.