Ofsted inspectors to move away from exams results focus

Exam results and grades will no longer be the key focus of Ofsted inspections in England, under new plans. The BBC reports.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman says the focus on performance data has narrowed what is taught in schools.

She will suggest, in a speech in Newcastle on Thursday, inspections have placed too much weight on exam results.

It is likely to make it easier for inspectors to recognise the good work done by schools in challenging circumstances.

In her speech to the Schools NorthEast summit, she will acknowledge that the current inspection model had led to “excessive workload” in some schools.

“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,” she will say.

“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.”

The biggest planned change to the inspection framework is that the section based on “pupil outcomes” (exam results) is likely to be replaced with a new judgement for “quality of education”.

But there are also changes planned for the other categories.

The new planned judgement headings are:

  • personal development

  • behaviour and attitudes

  • schools’ leadership and management.

Read more Ofsted inspectors to move away from exams results focus

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