Ofsted Monday launched a consultation on the inspection of maintained schools and academies in England. The changes follow proposals announced in the 2011 Education Bill and aim to re-focus school inspection on what matters most: the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, backed by excellent leadership and management, and good discipline and behaviour in schools. The consultation seeks views on the detail of how Ofsted will implement these changes.
The consultation also seeks views on when Ofsted should inspect. Outstanding schools will no longer be subject to routine inspections unless concerns about their performance are identified, and the consultation asks for views on the factors inspectors should consider when assessing whether an inspection is needed. In addition, it asks for views on plans to carry out more frequent inspections of weaker schools and on the circumstances in which schools may request an inspection.
Launching the consultation, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert said:
'Inspection is at the heart of school improvement. Since Ofsted was created in 1992, inspectors have helped identify the strengths and weaknesses of schools, encouraging improvement, sharing good practice and reducing failure.
'These proposals build on this experience and will give inspectors the chance to take an even closer look at those elements that impact most on improving standards for children and young people. In particular, we expect inspectors to spend even more time in the classroom, with a renewed emphasis on reading and literacy skills and the quality of teaching and learning.
'I hope that everyone with an interest in education will help us to shape the way schools are inspected and use this consultation to provide their views.'
As well as the consultation, Ofsted will be testing the new inspection arrangements in pilot inspections, with a view to introducing the new system in January 2012, subject to the successful passage of the Education Bill.
The consultation runs until 20 May and can be accessed online at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/ or requested from the Ofsted enquiry service by calling 0300 123 4234 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0300 123 4234 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
From 2012, we propose that school inspections will:
Ofsted also proposes to:
1. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
2. Media can contact the Ofsted Press Office through 020 7421 5911 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7421 5911 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or via Ofsted's enquiry line 0300 1231231 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0300 1231231 end_of_the_skype_highlighting between 8.30am - 6.00pm Monday - Friday. Out of these hours, during evenings and weekends, the duty press officer can be reached on 07919 057359 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07919 057359 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.