Raising standards, improving lives

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Published on March 13, 2014

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Inspection of schools: an overview of what inspectors expect from you

Inspection of schools: an update David Brown HMI National Lead for ICT Wednesday 22 January 2014 Raising standards, improving lives

Inspections in 2012-13

Children now have the best chance they have ever had of attending a good school

but inspection outcomes vary by school type

Ofsted is still studying overall academy performance  most sponsor-led academies are members of multi- academy trusts  some have performed strongly but others have not  over 50% of secondary schools (9% of primary schools) are now ‘converter-academies’; we will assess their performance next year.

In the best schools….  strong leaders and governors routinely challenge low expectations and mediocre teaching  they recruit and retain good teachers  they provide good support for those in their first years of teaching  they create a culture in which good teaching can flourish; orderly, welcoming schools and high standards  leaders reward good performance and tolerate neither inconsistent teaching or poor behaviour.

Robust accountability drives improvement  several countries are imitating the way we inspect in England, including some countries that had abolished inspection only to see outcomes decline  new inspection frameworks have ‘raised the bar’; only ‘good’ is good enough now  over 90% of schools judged as ‘requires improvement’ are taking effective action to improve and remedy weaknesses.

The challenge ahead

Some worrying statistics are emerging  nearly a quarter of a million pupils are educated in inadequate schools and a further 1.5 million in schools that require improvement to become good  teaching observed on inspection was less than good in around three in 10 lessons, more so in English and mathematics  around 700,000 pupils attend schools where behaviour or safety need to improve  over a quarter of our most able pupils did not make expected progress between age 11 and 16: 27,000 children.

England’s schools are not yet among the best in the world There remain three key barriers to raising standards further:  weaknesses in teaching and variation in quality within phases  pockets of weak educational provision in parts of the country  significant underachievement of children from low- income families.

In primary schools, the quality of teaching is stronger for older pupils

In secondary schools, older pupils and those in upper ability sets fare best

There was also variation by subject too

Access to a good school is too dependent on where a child lives  regional variation in school performance remains and can mask even greater variations in performance within each region  Ofsted is monitoring performance in each local authority and inspects the area if under-performing  there are not yet enough National Leaders / Teaching Schools to drive improvement in all areas.

The attainment gap between low-income pupils and other pupils is widest for the largest ethnic group: White British

The inspection arrangements for maintained schools and academies from September 2013, updated January 2014

The focus of school inspection We are continuing to focus on what really matters Inspectors judge the quality of education provided in the school and its overall effectiveness - taking account of four key judgements:  the achievement of pupils at the school  the quality of teaching in the school  the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school  the quality of the leadership in, and management of, the school.

The focus of school inspection Inspectors will also consider:  the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils at the school  the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the range of pupils at the school, and in particular the needs of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs  the impact of the pupil premium funding on eligible pupils.

Inspectors will continue to:  spend most of their time in classes, observing lessons and evaluating the impact of teaching on learning  talk to pupils about their work, gauging their understanding and engagement, and their perceptions of the school  look closely at pupils’ behaviour and safety in and out of lessons  hear children read in primary schools, and in Years 7 and 8 in secondary schools. During the inspection

Inspectors will continue to:  scrutinise pupils’ work and look at data on pupils’ performance, behaviour and attendance  involve the headteacher and senior managers fully during the inspection, including during inspection team meetings  engage with members of the governing body  take account of parents’ views. During the inspection

Key changes from September 2013, with January 2014 updates

Key changes Changes, from September 2013 with January 2014 amendments, are to support headteachers, staff, governors and stakeholders in their work to provide the best education for pupils. The changes have been derived from:  an evaluation of section 5 inspections  recent surveys, including: Unseen Children and Most Able Students  national priorities for school inspection.

 pupils’ progress remains a key factor, as shown by progress of pupils currently in the school and recent nationally benchmarked performance data  school proportions of pupils making, and proportions exceeding, expected progress should be close to, or above, national figures for achievement to be good  Ofsted’s descriptors do not use the overall percentage of pupils making expected progress but take account of progress from different starting points  some schools do not have up to three years worth of data available. This is does not prevent them from being judged good or outstanding. Achievement

 for achievement, and overall effectiveness, to be outstanding, progress of pupils eligible for the pupil premium in English and mathematics should match, or be rapidly approaching, the high level of progress of other pupils  if their progress is falling further behind that of other pupils in either English or mathematics, leadership and management are likely to be inadequate  where school's use of pupil premium is weak, inspectors will recommend an external review of the use of the pupil premium.  risk assessment will include the progress of these pupils. Achievement: pupils eligible for the pupil premium

 underachievement of the more able pupils can trigger judgements of inadequate achievement and inadequate teaching  when considering how effectively the pupil premium is used to provide support, inspectors must take account of its impact for the more able pupils who are in receipt of the pupil premium. Achievement: more able pupils

 inspectors must not favour a particular or preferred approach to teaching or planning lessons. It is for a school to determine how best to teach and engage pupils to secure good or better learning  there is a further focus on testing and checking Key Stage 1 assessments, through classroom observation, book trawls and other first-hand evidence, to ensure that a school’s assessment of pupils’ performance is robust  inspectors will evaluate whether teaching meets the needs of, and provides sufficient challenge to, the most able pupils. Quality of teaching

Behaviour and safety  inspectors will make two written judgements, one on behaviour, the other on safety; these will be stated separately in the report  these judgements must be weighed to determine a balanced, graded judgement on behaviour and safety overall  where, for example, behaviour is judged to ‘require improvement’ and safety is judged to be ‘good’, the overall judgement for behaviour and safety will be ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors will take account of:  the views expressed by pupils of their experiences of others’ behaviour and attitudes, and their understanding of the importance of positive attitudes in school and in later adult life  a range of evidence in order to judge behaviour and safety over an extended period  a school’s track record; the circumstances that led to any reported serious incidents; and observe pupils and discuss with them matters such as behaviour outside lessons; break times; and at the beginning and end of school. Behaviour and safety

29 Behaviour and safety Inspectors must also consider:  pupils’ attitudes to learning and how it helps or hinders their progress in lessons  pupils’ responses to staff’s instructions and requests, allowing lessons to flow smoothly and without interruption  whether pupils’ attitudes to learning are positive across subjects, years, classes and with different staff  whether pupils are safe; risk, and extremist behaviour.

Leadership and management Focus on:  in secondary school inspections: on careers information, advice and guidance available  how primary school sport funding is being used to support physical well-being among pupils  greater recognition of leaders in schools in difficult circumstances  the effectiveness of middle leaders.

Leadership and management Focus on:  strengthening governance: if governance is weak, inspectors will recommend an external review of governance  awareness of e-safety  promoting ParentView.

Recommended reading School inspection handbook (Jan 2014) Subsidiary guidance (Jan 2014) Annual report 2012/13 (Dec 2013) Inspecting e-safety (Jan 2014) These and all other Ofsted inspection documentation can be downloaded from www.ofsted.gov.uk Raising standards, improving lives

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