Ofsted plans to change inspection framework

New Ofsted judgements are to be consulted on, with exam results and grades no longer the key focus.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman will say, in a speech at the Schools NorthEast in Newcastle today (11 October), that inspections have placed too much weight on exam results and that Ofsted's role as an inspectorate should "complement rather than intensify performance data."

The plans are likely to make it easier for inspectors to recognise the good work done by schools in challenging circumstances.

Spielman is expected to say: "For a long time, our inspections have looked hardest at outcomes, placing too much weight on test and exam results when we consider the overall effectiveness of schools."

"The cumulative impact of performance tables and inspections, and the consequences that are hung on them, has increased the pressure on school leaders, teachers and indirectly on pupils to deliver perfect data above all else.

"But we know that focusing too narrowly on test and exam results can often leave little time or energy for hard thinking about the curriculum, and in fact can sometimes end up making a casualty of it."

The biggest planned change to the inspection framework is "pupil outcomes" (exam results) which is likely to be replaced with "quality of education".

The new planned judgement headings are: 'personal development', 'behaviour and attitudes', and 'schools' leadership and management'.

Ofsted will launch a consultation on the new set of inspection categories in a new framework in January, in the hope of starting to use them at the start of the school year in September 2019.

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