5 Ofsted changes to expect in 2019

There are dramatic changes happening to the way Ofsted evaluate schools. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman announced details of planned changes to the way Ofsted inspects schools, colleges, further education institutions and early years settings from September 2019. These changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look instead at how schools are achieving these results.

According to Ofsted’s press release we can expect that ‘these changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look instead at how schools are achieving these results, and whether they are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep, or simply teaching to the test’.

This has far reaching implications for inspections from September 2019.

These are five aspects to be aware of:

  1. One day inspections for Good schools will change: Schools that have already been rated as Good by Ofsted will have a two day inspection rather than one to confirm their Good status. 
  2. Less time to prepare: Ofsted are only required to give two and a half hours notice of a visit. In practical terms, this means that the lead inspector could contact the school before 10 am, and arrive no earlier than 12:30. 
  3. Collection of data: This year, Ofsted will not only ask what data you collect, but why you are collecting it. This is different from before where Ofsted tended to draw conclusions from the data provided. This time round, they want to know what role the data plays in improving teaching, learning, and the curriculum. This is potentially good news for teachers and school leaders as it is likely to reduce workload. 
  4. A new judgement is being introduced – Quality of education: This is Ofsted acknowledging they have been too focussed on outcomes and test results, rather than the actual quality of education. They will also take into consideration the wider context of each organisation when making judgements. According to Ofsted, this new judgement will allow them to recognise primary schools that, for example, prioritise phonics and the transition into early reading, and which encourage older pupils to read widely and deeply.
  5. Non specialist subjects will face more scrutiny: Based on the quality of education judgement, Ofsted has modified its approach to inspecting independent schools. Judgements will not be based on specialist subjects alone, with a greater focus on the ’non specialist’ element of the curriculum. Ofsted have also committed to speeding up the turnaround time for feedback or judgement of these schools.

You can read Ofsted’s own press release which is refreshingly concise and to the point here.

I hope this was useful. I will update or add a new post as more information becomes available.