The new Inspection Framework from Ofsted

by Simon Sharp, CIEA Chair of Trustees

The announcement of a new Inspection Framework from Ofsted isn’t usually greeted by many in the teaching profession with any sense of enthusiasm. However, this time it looks as if things are somewhat different. Titled ‘Inspecting the substance of education’, the latest proposals unveiled by Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman on 16 January represent a significant shift of emphasis. As the strapline suggests, the proposed Framework indicates Ofsted’s intention to focus the substance and quality of education, and lessen the weight given to ‘data above all else’.

The proposals for a move away from the fixation on ‘data’ at the expense of looking at the actual quality of education being provided have been welcomed by many, particularly the Teacher Unions. This must be good news for everyone concerned about the consequences (intended or otherwise) of the focus on data that has characterised the Inspection Framework over the last fifteen years.

But let’s be clear - schools and colleges still need to have robust and appropriate assessment processes in place that support effective teaching and learning and the delivery of the curriculum. Ofsted will be looking for evidence that these processes are in place and do what they are supposed to – underpin high quality teaching and learning.

The CIEA is well-placed to support schools and colleges to put in place effective assessment processes and help staff develop the assessment expertise they need. We believe the different parts of our training ‘package’ can help staff acquire and apply the knowledge and skills they need to build robust systems that earn the confidence of school and college leaders, and yes, Ofsted inspectors.

My view on all public consultations is clear: set aside any initial cynicism you may feel. Read the proposal and send in a response. It is important to remember that all responses have value; don’t assume that if you broadly agree with the proposals, you don’t need to respond. Ofsted need to hear the professional voices of teachers and lecturers. If you support the direction of travel in the revised Framework, now’s your chance to state your case.

You can find the online consultation by following the link below to the website

You can respond on line at: Respond online

Or email your response to:

Or send a written response to: EIF Programme Team, Ofsted, Clive House, 70 Petty France, London SW1H 9EX