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What Ofsted does: the facts and the myths

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Ian Hodgkinson SHMI gave this presentation at the Wolverhampton University Newly Qualified Teachers Conference, 13 October 2017.

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What Ofsted does: the facts and the myths

  1. 1. What Ofsted does The facts and the myths Ian Hodgkinson Senior HMI West Midlands Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 1
  2. 2. What does Ofsted do? A trainee’s view “Moderators of education. They ensure standards are met consistently and that pupils’ progress is at an expected level.” Trainee teacher discussion groups with Ofsted July 2016 Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 2
  3. 3. The remits that Ofsted inspects Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 3 Local area SEND inspections Inspection of initial training for schools, FE and EY ITT Inspection of academies, including free schools Further Education and Skills inspections Ofsted Inspection and regulation of children’s social care Inspection of all maintained and some independent schools Inspection and regulation of early years
  4. 4. Raising standards, improving lives Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 4 Ofsted’s reach About one in three people come into contact with the services we inspect and regulate 1.5 million childcare places are provided to benefit children Over 8 million children are in school Over 500,000 referrals are made to children's services each year Nearly 3.6 million 16+ benefit from publicly funded courses Ofsted’s reach
  5. 5. The common inspection framework  In 2015, Ofsted published the common inspection framework (CIF)  It brings together the inspection of different education, skills and early years settings to provide greater coherence  It sets out the way in which inspection is carried out  The CIF is accompanied by guidance for inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills and 5 handbooks including the school inspection handbook  Handbooks are published to provide detailed guidance about what will happen during each type of inspection Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 5
  6. 6. The common grading scale for all inspection judgements  A common grading scale is used in making judgements for inspections: − Grade 1 outstanding − Grade 2 good − Grade 3 requires improvement − Grade 4 inadequate Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 6
  7. 7. What to expect on inspection  Schools are usually given half a day’s notice of an inspection  Full inspections do not normally last longer than two days  Short inspections of good schools normally last for one day  The size of the inspection team will vary according to the size and nature of the school  Inspectors will spend most of their time gathering first-hand evidence to inform judgements  Inspections are carried out by professionals with extensive teaching and leadership experience and often by serving headteachers/school leaders who work part time for Ofsted Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 7
  8. 8. Inspection reports Following an inspection, the lead inspector produces a report, which is quality assured and published on Ofsted’s website. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 8
  9. 9. Myth-busting  ‘Clarification for schools’ document published in 2014 in response to sector feedback about teachers feeling overwhelmed by the need to do ‘what Ofsted wants to see’  This is now included as a section in the school inspection handbook, pages 9−11  It explains what inspectors do and do not ‘expect’ to see during school inspections Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 9
  10. 10. Schools’ myth-busting materials  Mythbuster and inspection handbook  Blogs from Ofsted leaders on busting myths  Slides from Ofsted on inspections and myths  Videos from Ofsted on mythbusting Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 10
  11. 11. If you want to find out more, search for #Ofstedmyths on www.twitter.com/Ofstednews Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 11
  12. 12. True or False? Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 12 1. The grading of individual lessons contributes to the final judgment given by Ofsted. 2. Inspectors do not expect to see lesson plans in the lessons that they observe. 3. Schools should use Ofsted’s grading criteria to grade teaching and learning. 4. Ofsted determines how many lesson observations should be carried out in schools each year.
  13. 13. True or False? Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 13 1. The grading of individual lessons contributes to the final judgment given by Ofsted. 2. Inspectors do not expect to see lesson plans in the lessons that they observe. 3. Schools should use Ofsted’s grading criteria to grade teaching and learning. 4. Ofsted determines how many lesson observations should be carried out in schools each year. F T F F
  14. 14. Lessons and planning (1) Section 5 school inspections:  Ofsted does not award a grade for the quality of teaching or outcomes in the individual lessons visited. It does not grade individual lessons. It does not expect schools to use the Ofsted evaluation schedule to grade teaching or individual lessons.  Ofsted does not require schools to undertake a specified amount of lesson observation.  Ofsted inspectors do not grade individual lessons during school inspections. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 14
  15. 15. Lessons and planning (2)  Ofsted does not require schools to provide individual lesson plans to inspectors. Equally, Ofsted does not require schools to provide previous lesson plans.  Ofsted does not specify how planning should be set out, the length of time it should take or the amount of detail it should contain. Inspectors are interested in the effectiveness of planning rather than the form it takes. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 15
  16. 16. True or False? Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 16 5. Ofsted expects pupils in primary and secondary schools to respond to marking in their books using green pens. 6. Ofsted will evaluate whether marking and assessment in secondary schools is consistent with the school’s marking and assessment policies. 7. Ofsted will not make any recommendations that identify marking as an area for improvement for a school. 8. Ofsted do not expect to see written evidence of oral feedback given to pupils.
  17. 17. True or False? Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 17 5. Ofsted expects pupils in primary and secondary schools to respond to marking in their books using green pens. 6. Ofsted will evaluate whether marking and assessment in secondary schools is consistent with the school’s marking and assessment policies. 7. Ofsted will not make any recommendations that identify marking as an area for improvement for a school. 8. Ofsted do not expect to see written evidence of oral feedback given to pupils. F T F T
  18. 18. Busting myths about marking pupils’ work (1)  We know that marking and feedback to pupils, both written and oral, are important aspects of assessment. However, Ofsted does not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback; these are for the school to decide through its assessment policy.  Marking and feedback should be consistent with that policy, which may cater for different subjects and different age groups of pupils in different ways, to be effective and efficient in promoting learning. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 18
  19. 19. Busting myths about marking pupils’ work (2)  While inspectors will consider how written and oral feedback is used to promote learning, Ofsted does not expect to see any written record of oral feedback provided to pupils by teachers.  If it is necessary for inspectors to identify marking as an area for improvement for a school, they will pay careful attention to the way recommendations are written to ensure that these do not lead to unnecessary workload for teachers. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 19
  20. 20. Trainee teacher discussion groups with Ofsted − July 2016  Followed a similar engagement exercise with qualified teacher groups  4 focus groups in June (London, Birmingham & Newcastle) led by SHMI, supported by consultation/comms staff  30 attendees – 20 female, 10 male  Period of training ranged from 1 month to 2 years  20 core postgraduates, 9 School Direct (3 salaried), 1 undergraduate  Provider types: Majority HEI with around a quarter SCITT  Knowledge of Ofsted: 21 – “not very much”, 9 – “A lot” Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 20
  21. 21. Views of Ofsted among trainees  Positive reputational view of Ofsted as an organisation.  They saw it as a good, reliable source of quality information and said it was there to do what it had to in order to improve standards in education.  Some had checked inspection reports for background prior to placements and a few had read Ofsted’s resources to assist with theoretical information.  Their impression of Ofsted’s inspection work erred very much on the negative but seemed to be based on a lack of clarity about what inspection entails, along with fear of the unknown and their influenced perceptions from others.  They thought inspection only gave a brief glimpse into a school’s performance. They saw it as a box ticking exercise and questioned the accuracy of judgements. They said, the short period of time the inspector was there meant they’d only see a snap shot of what the school was like rather than a true reflection of how it operates on a daily basis. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 21
  22. 22. Views of Ofsted among trainees 2  Some felt inspectors were only looking for weaknesses not strengths, particularly in underperforming, low graded schools.  They thought that pupils should be more involved in the inspections and that inspectors should ask pupils directly their impressions on how well lessons were being delivered.  Some questioned the benefit of lesson observation because they felt both teachers and pupils behaved differently. Teachers would often try and repeat a previous ‘good lesson’ and that many pupils felt pressurised to represent the school well so would often not be themselves.  They described teachers as ‘not being themselves’ because of this pressure with many just showcasing what they can do.  The issue of subject specialisms was raised as concerning to some who queried how learning and progress could be assessed accurately when the inspector may not be a specialist in the lesson field. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 22
  23. 23. So how does Ofsted judge teaching, learning and assessment across the school? Discuss: What activities and evidence do you think inform inspectors’ judgements about the quality of teaching across the school? (2 minutes) E.g.  Lesson observations and learning walks  Pupils’ written work  School data  ASP/RAISE  Inspection dashboard  Discussions with staff, e.g. pupil progress meetings  Discussions with different groups of pupils  Listening to pupils read Anything else? Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 23
  24. 24. Triangulation of the teaching judgement Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 24 Learning walks Lesson observations Discussion with staff Students’ books – work scrutiny Student/class attainment/progress data Discussion with students
  25. 25. Checking pupils’ books Paired discussion: (2 mins): What are inspectors looking for when they ask to see pupils’ books during observations/ work scrutinies? When reviewing pupils’ work, inspectors may consider:  the level of challenge provided, for and evident progress of, different groups (e.g. by ability, gender, SEND, EAL, PP)  pupils’ effort and success in completing their work and the progress they make over a period of time  implementation of whole-school priorities, for example on improving students’ literacy, numeracy, handwriting and presentation  the quality of planning to cover key elements of the subject curriculum  how the school’s marking policy and other feedback and assessment are used to help teachers improve pupils’ learning  whether pupils respond by correcting/improving their work. Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 25
  26. 26. Last words to the trainees…..  “Everyone is afraid of the unknown and as a newly qualified teacher you want to know what magic formula Ofsted is looking for.”  “Lack of clarity on whether a conservative standard lesson is needed when being observed during inspection vs one that’s all singing and dancing with crazy activities.”  “Evidence”, equals checklist. “The big E” - This is what has led to the follies and myths propagated! Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 26
  27. 27. Ofsted and the DfE: reducing teacher workload  The DfE published in February 2017: − the first biennial teacher workload survey − the DfE’s action plan and protocol − pamphlets and posters for teachers  Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking  Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources  Eliminating unnecessary workload associated with data management Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 27
  28. 28. Ofsted on the web and on social media www.gov.uk/ofsted http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk www.linkedin.com/company/ofsted www.youtube.com/ofstednews www.slideshare.net/ofstednews www.twitter.com/ofstednews Wolverhampton NQT conference Slide 28

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