Curriculum inspection means more work, says Ofsted adviser

Tim Oates has said that Ofsted’s focus on school curriculum in the new inspection framework will allow the sharing of good practice across the system. However, he told Tes that this will lead to an increase in work as some schools adapt their approach to the curriculum.

Mr Oates, who led the last national curriculum review for former education secretary Michael Gove, and sits on Ofsted’s curriculum advisory panel, has welcomed the inspectorate’s plans.

He also told Tes that in the long term he believes schools improving their curriculum design will save workload.

Mr Oates said: “It is right that there is a focus on identifying good practice and disseminating it. We are not very good in this country at sharing good practice. There is to a duty to make sure schools are well supported in this so that it doesn’t become an overwhelming task.”

When asked whether he thought Ofsted’s new inspection framework would create more work for schools, he said: “We shouldn’t underestimate the demands on schools of designing and implementing a school curriculum.”

“If there are four or five models of school curriculum which are identified as being really good, it will still be quite a task for schools to adapt themselves to these models.”

The NAHT heads’ union has called on Ofsted  to pause its plans for a new framework amid concerns about workload and questions about whether the inspectorate has given itself enough time to deliver a major change to the way it inspects schools.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “We’re pleased so many people are welcoming the proposed changes to the Ofsted framework. And, as HM Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said in a speech last week, our ‘focus on substance will help to tackle excessive workload’ by moving the conversation away from data generation and towards the real substance of education.

Read more Curriculum inspection means more work, says Ofsted adviser

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