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Ofsted 2012 - No Notice InspectionsThe New Inspection Framework

Ofsted unveils plans to scrap school inspection notifications

Ofsted has been moving towards a position of unannounced school inspection over a period of years, I believe the time is now right for us to take that final step and make sure that for every school we visit inspectors are seeing schools as they really are in the corridors, classrooms and staff room.

Ofsted new Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw (10 Jan 2012)

What has changed? Does it matter?

The fact that Inspections are unannounced and will now focus on 4 judgement areas and give more time to review teaching is almost irrelevant. Schools that routinely self evaluate by internal mini audits and attention to detail will always have positive inspection outcomes.
As part of the new inspection format you will still be expected to produce evidence - but you will not have the normal 2 days notice, so how are you going to be able to produce this evidence? If you routinely self evaluate and store your evidence in a single, easy to access repository, you will be able to offer your side immediately. Without your evidence you have less control over judgements made. With favourable evidence to support your assertions judgements are likely to be more balanced and not based soley upon what is seen on the day.

Align your internal self evaluation with the external evaluation of Ofsted.

Self evaluation, inspection and school improvement should be viewed as related parts of a single process. We have combined all 3 in one easy to use, cost effective system that will assist your school improvement strategy. You are already collecting evidence, some will be anecdotal some formal, whether it is a learning walk, lesson obs, book trawl, pupil interview and you are probably filing this away or putting it in a spreadsheet. You will be undertaking Performance Management again filing outcomes. You will be completing a strategy plan, a SEF and possibly a SIP/DIP.

We combine these tasks and make the data instantly available for leadership review, managing interventions, performance management and inspections.

Inspectors will expect to use a summary of a school's self-evaluation in a form chosen by the school.

The evidence you have collected should be combined and used for internal management, self evaluation and external inspections (Ofsted/LEA).

In judging the school's overall effectiveness, inspectors will take account of the four key judgements and how well the school promotes pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Achievement of Pupils

There will be a single judgement on achievement in which inspectors will consider current pupils' progress together with attainment, and trends in attainment and progress in recent years.(Ofsted Nov 2011)

  • There is no separate graded judgement on the achievement of pupils with disabilities or those with SEN.
  • There is no seperate judgement on attainment.
  • There is a greater focus on how schools are narrowing the gaps in attainment and progress between different groups of pupils and all pupils nationally.
  • There are no graded 'sub-judgements' or 'contributory' judgements.
  • There will be no separate graded judgments for the Early Years Foundation Stage or the sixth form; inspectors will continue to evaluate these areas as part of the overall school provision.
  • Value-added (VA) measures are used rather than contextual value-added (CVA) as a measure of progress in previous years.
  • A greater focus on pupils' achievement in reading, as shown by test results, school records and inspectors' evaluation of children's reading.

Quality of Teaching

Teaching includes teachers' planning and implementing of learning activities across the whole curriculum, as well as marking, assessment and feedback. It comprises activities within and outside the classroom, such as support and intervention.

"..any evidence the school has of the quality of teaching is clearly important"

There is a clear,clear message here that the judgements inspectors make of lessons are not the only ways at which inspectors will arrive at the judgements of the quality of teaching.

There will be a further increase in the proportion of inspectors' time in school that is spent observing teaching and gathering evidence of learning, progress and behaviour.

Quality of Leadership

One single judgement on leadership and management.

Ofsted is no longer looking for compliance - it is looking for quality.

No separate judgement for capacity to improve; this is incorporated in the single judgement on leadership and management.

An evaluation of the provision of a broad, balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils.

A greater emphasis on engaging with parents and carers in supporting outcomes for pupils.

Pupil Behaviour and Safety

Central to the new judgement is the collection of evidence that provides a picture of what behaviour is typically not that just observed during the inspection. The views of parents, pupils and staff are important sources of evidence to consider when assessing pupils' behaviour and safety over time Ofsted News

This judgement takes account of a range of evidence on behaviour and inspectors have more time to look at these issues in more depth:

  • Behaviour in the classroom and attitudes to learning.
  • behaviour around school
  • attendance and punctuality
  • a focus on freedom from bullying.

An integrated approach

There is a significant interdependence between self evaluation, the new 2012 Ofsted inspection framework and school improvement - preparation for one can be preparation for all whilst demonstrating effective quality of leadership. Evidence is gathered quickly and focussed. Once collected the evidence is used to inform leadership for initiatives and interventions as well as to be used as an audit trail. e.g.Ofsted have stated that evidence for teaching and learning will not be based soley upon lesson observations, weight will be given to evidence collected from other sources. Evidence you have collected and stored within our system can be easily retrieved and produced to an inspector to aid their judgements. It is this integrated approach that helps with self evaluation and intervention - collect evidence once use many times.

We work closely with clients, the roadmap for our product is determined by them.

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We will retain and build on the strengths of the current framework by:
focusing on pupils' outcomes, including outcomes for different groups of pupils and how well the school promotes those outcomes

promoting improvement inspectors will continue to make specific and detailed recommendations based on their diagnosis of the school's strengths and weaknesses.

Ofsted New Framework 2012