Friday, 19 July 2019

Ofsted publishes report on mulit-academy trusts

Ofsted has published a report on multi-academy trusts (MATs) - Multi-academy trusts: benefits, challenges and functions

Whilst it makes recommendations for Ofsted and the DfE, including strengthening accountability at MAT level, the main recommendations for MATs are that they should

- make full use of the opportunities for back-office functions and policies
- ensure that collaboration within the trust is used effectively, particularly to share expertise and maximise learning
- work productively with the LA and other schools in the area
- carefully manage growth
- clearly set out the role of the local governing body
- put in place mechanisms to monitor their own performance at trust level

Monday, 21 January 2019

Ofsted launches consultation on new draft inspection framework

Ofsted has launched a consultation, running until 5 April, on the new draft inspection framework.  The new framework will start in September 2019 and the main proposed changes are

- the inspection of schools currently evaluated as good will take two days

- the lead inspector will arrive at the school the day before the inspection is due to start in order to prepare for it in collaboration with school leaders

- the current judgement on personal development, behaviour and welfare will be replaced by two separate judgements - one on behaviour and attitudes and the other on personal development

- the existing judgement on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment will be replaced by a judgement on the overall quality of education

- inspectors will no longer use internal pupil performance data but will ask leaders to explain why they collect the data they do, what they draw from it and how it informs their curriculum and teaching

- additional inspections of private schools will be more likely to lead to standard inspections

The draft framework and handbooks are available from

Friday, 28 September 2018

Ofsted making changes to academy trust inspections

Ofsted is making changes to its plans for the inspection of multi-academy trusts.

It has recently completed trials which have involved visiting groups of schools, over a period of a few days, within a small number of trusts.

However, the changes now include the trust leaders meeting with inspectors to talk about the findings of the inspections.  Ofsted says that the trials are now completed and the outcomes are being analysed to inform future guidance on the reviews of multi-academy trusts. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Ofsted says that headteachers must inform all governors and trustees about inspections

Ofsted has told inspectors in its monthly update that that they must tell headteachers that they expect all governors and trustees to be informed about an inspection and aim to meet 'as many as possible' during it.

During an inspection, inspectors should meet with the chair of governors (or chair of the board of trustees) and as many governors or trustees as possible.  They should also be invited to attend the final feedback meeting with inspectors.

Governance specialists said that governors are less effective as a force for school improvement if they are not involved in inspections. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Ofsted make changes to the time interval between inspections

Ofsted has announced, with immediate effect, changes to the time interval between inspections.

For schools that are rated inadequate - both serious weaknesses and special measures - the maximum gap between inspections will increase from 24 months to up to 30 months.

For those rated as good, there will be a maximum interval of four years, rather than three, between inspections; these schools continue to receive short inspections.

Schools which are rated as requires improvement are already re-inspected within a 30 month time period so the new announcements do not affect them.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Northern Powerhouse report calls for additional support

A Northern Powerhouse Partnership report calls for action to boost the achievement and prospects of young people in the North, including urging businesses to mentor at least as many Northern schoolchildren as they have employees in the region.  This could benefit at least 900,000 young people in the North from the age of 11.

The report argues that that firms should pledge to offer young people additional careers advice, including work placements, to boost skills and provide opportunities.

'Educating the North' is available from

Friday, 22 December 2017

Ofsted confirm that schools have up to two years to prepare for follow-ups

Ofsted has confirmed that it will allow schools up to two years to prepare for a follow-up inspection.

It is moving ahead with the proposals that it set out in September which give schools rated as 'good' more time to improve if there is a danger of them slipping down.  If Ofsted has concerns about the quality of education, leadership or management at a school, but no significant issues with safeguarding or behaviour, it will publish a letter outlining the areas for improvement, with full inspections taking place within two years.

If inspectors believe that a school is moving towards outstanding, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out how the school can improve with a full inspection also taking place within two years, although schools will be able to apply for an earlier inspection.