The New Ofsted Framework - Implications for Teaching and Learning

Article excerpt

Is the role of an article on the new Ofsted framework to pose more questions than answers? If so, then read on. This article aims to review the major changes and challenges of the new Ofsted framework.

How will data be used?

Data remain central to any inspection. However, this will now take into account international comparisons such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study ( PIRLS) and Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS). PIRLS reports every five years on the reading achievement of students worldwide and TIMSS reports every four years on the Mathematics and Science achievement. The next report is planned for 201 6 when both studies will be published.

You may ask yourself how England ranks internationally in terms of PISA. There lies the key issue; our current position for English is 21st and Mathematics is 22nd. There are critiques of the PISA analysis which are referenced at the end of this article. These make interesting reading and are certainly something which needs to be kept in mind. RAISE online is being modified to include a range of value added measures now that contextual value added is no longer being recognised. Schools will need to demonstrate evidence of how they are narrowing the gap in performance for different groups of learners. Evidence will include learners with Special Educational Needs, disabilities, boys and girls, looked after children and learners from different social or ethnic groups. Both high and underperformance of learners will be scrutinised. There will be a significant focus on how schools are narrowing any gaps in attainment between learners in the school setting and learners nationally. The inspection team will want to see that learners (including those with identified barriers to their learning) are making the appropriate level of progress overtime given their starting points. Key to this will be how learners are developing a range of skills which gives them the capacity for greater progress to be made in the future.

Ofsted's Parent View is already available for parents to comment on schools. This involves a standard questionnaire and will be scrutinised to ensure it is not misused. The results will be published to allow comparisons of schools and at the end of the year results will be frozen, allowing year-on-year comparison.

Ofsted will examine the rate of progress being made in the key areas and compare it to national averages. If the rate of progress is strong and exceeds the levels indicated in national data this will be acknowledged positively. This can apply even if a school has below average figures - it is the rate of progress being made that is important.

Has the definition of an outstanding lesson changed?

One of the major changes to the framework is that to be graded Outstanding' a school must have outstanding teaching. So what might Ofsted be looking for?

A significant difference is the change to feedback after a lesson observation. Staff will be asked if the Senior Leadership Team supports teaching and learning. There will also be questions about the impact of Continued Professional Development. Feedback to teachers will include strengths and areas for improvement. There will be some joint observations with senior staff to ensure they understand how to judge the quality of teaching and learning. There is an expectation of increased classroom presence, possible pupil pursuit, and inspectors asking pupils about the learning that has taken place. During the lesson observation expect a greater emphasis on formative assessment and how it is used to support learning. Learners will be asked if the marking of their work is useful to them and staff will need to provide evidence of how they are measuring progress of pupils in their subject. …

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