Ofsted have launched a consultation on their proposed inspection framework. It is really important that the teaching profession give their views because school inspection drives so much activity in schools. We’ve asked our panel some questions on the likely reforms – this is what they think.

Teachers like the curriculum focus, though are less sure inspectors can judge it!

A massive 94% of our panel are at least somewhat supportive of Ofsted’s proposal to judge the quality of a school’s curriculum (i.e. its intent, implementation and impact). HOWEVER, only 4% think that an inspector is able to judge the quality of a school’s curriculum WELL. A further 48% think they will be able to judge it somewhat, but have reservations. So what are the concerns of our panel? About a third simply think the inspection isn’t long enough to pass judgments on curriculum quality. A quarter think that inspectors are not expert enough to judge quality. And one-third think that the education world does not have an agreed view of what a high quality curriculum looks like!

Many teachers are expecting the new framework to generate new workload

Whose job is it to demonstrate to inspectors that a school’s curriculum is coherently structured? In secondary schools, one-in-five of our panel are expecting senior leadership to have to write detailed documentation to justify curriculum choices and one-in-three of our panel are expecting departmental heads to write-up detailed documentation. These figures are just a touch lower in primary schools and overall our primary teachers are more positive about how Ofsted’s new focus will allow them to give greater time to foundation subjects (17%) and will force SLT to give greater support to teachers to develop their curriculum (16%). No doubt this more positive perspective amongst primary colleagues reflects the desire to rebalance their curriculum away from SATs preparation.

Senior leaders don’t like the idea of 150-minute notice inspections

We want inspectors to observe schools going about their normal day, which is why Ofsted are asking again for views on minimal-notice inspections. Although only 46% of classroom teachers are opposed to this idea, 64% of senior leaders do not think that minimal-notice inspections can be made to work.

Ofsted have a long way to go before teachers feel positive about them!

Although our panel seem quite positive about parts of the new inspection framework, they remain resolutely negative about Ofsted overall. Only 23% have an even vaguely positive attitude towards the inspectorate. Is this inevitable? What can Ofsted do to make things better?

Don’t forget to read the consultation document and take time to respond to it! You have until the 5th April 2019 to respond.