Ofsted launches consultation on radical overhaul of school inspections
Ofsted has launched a consultation on a new framework for the inspection of maintained schools, academies, further education and skills providers, non-association independent schools and registered early years settings. Sir Michael Wilshaw said the reforms would bring about a radically different inspection regime designed to maintain and accelerate improved educational standards in England.
Amongst the proposed changes are the introduction of more frequent but shorter inspections for high-performing schools. However, the most interesting thing to emerge during the launch of the consultation was the news that Ofsted has no plans to introduce routine “no-notice” inspections of schools. Ofsted said a consultation on proposals to carry out “dawn raids” on all schools had been scrapped because the system was no longer required. However, the regulator insisted snap inspections are being conducted when it receives reports that standards of behaviour and leadership at specific schools are in decline.
This consultation document proposes the following key changes to the way Ofsted is undertaking inspections from September 2015:
Proposal 1: a common inspection framework for all early years settings on the Early Years Register, maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and FE and skills providers. This framework will mean that the same judgements will apply in each of these remits.
Proposal 2: introducing shorter inspections for maintained schools, academies and FE and skills providers that were judged good at their previous inspection. These short inspections, conducted approximately every three years, will report on whether or not a provider has maintained its overall effectiveness but will not provide a full set of graded judgements.
Proposal 3: conducting a full inspection of non-association independent schools within a three-year period.
The closing date for the consultation is 5 December 2014. – if you think that there should be an AEP response then please insert any comments into the consultation questionnaire and return the form to Kate.Fallon@aep.org.uk, cc firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 1st December so a response can be drafted and submitted.