Ofsted: A rethink on lesson observations, and eight other plans revealed today

The Tes reports that more inspections for ‘outstanding’ schools and multi-academy trusts, and a focus on social mobility are also part of Ofsted’s plan for the next five years. This morning, Ofsted published its new corporate strategy for 2017-22. Here are its 9 main points:

  1. A rethink on lesson observations
    Ofsted will be re-examining the validity of its lesson observations. An international seminar at the start of November will bring together experts in lesson observation from around the world. Ofsted will then look at the different systems being used, and debate which is the most valid, and how it might incorporate these systems into what it does.
  2. Drawing out schools’ ‘uniqueness’
    Parents have said that Ofsted reports are very good at informing them about the performance of individual schools, but do not say anything about what makes a school distinctive or unique. “I think it would be possible to produce more narrative reports which aren’t necessarily just reliant on data,” Mr Tryl said. For example, reports would not duplicate information which is readily available elsewhere. This would allow inspectors to spend more time in schools, and less time writing reports.
  3. A focus on social mobility
    “What a lot of people forget is that, actually, when you narrow the curriculum, it’s disadvantaged pupils who suffer the most,” Mr Tryl said. “Often, where you see disadvantaged pupils underperforming, it’s an indication that the institution as a whole is underperforming. So how can we really make sure we play our part in the social-mobility strategy?”
  4. HMI, inspect thyself
    “I am quite strongly of the view that an organisation that holds others to account ought to be very robust, not only in holding ourselves to account, but also putting out the information which allows other people to do the same as well,” Mr Tryl said. This would mean publishing Ofsted’s own accountability metrics annually, as well as polling teachers and parents for their opinions on Ofsted.

Read Ofsted’s 5 other plans  Ofsted: A rethink on lesson observations, and eight other plans revealed today

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