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Key points from Ofsted’s consultation, Better inspection for all

We’ve extracted the key messages and paragraphs you need to be aware of from Ofsted’s Better inspection for all report, released yesterday.

79. ‘Short inspections will focus on whether good quality provision has been sustained. Short inspections will not be mini full inspections: inspectors will not make a full set of new judgements. Inspectors will focus on the performance of the school or provider and leadership and management. Where Her Majesty’s Inspectors find that good quality provision has been sustained by leadership and management, a short formal published report will be provided in letter format setting out the main inspection findings. If a significant concern arises that the school or provider may no longer be good, Her Majesty’s Inspectors may recommend that a full inspection takes place and that for (i) maintained schools and academies the short inspection is extended and may be deemed a section 5 inspection and that for (ii) further education and skills providers the short inspection may be extended and turned into a full inspection. Similarly, if there are indications that the school or provider may have improved and there is a likelihood of it being judged outstanding under a full inspection, Her Majesty’s Inspectors may recommend that a full inspection is scheduled.

80. ‘We do not propose to introduce, at this time, any form of shortened inspection for good or outstanding early years settings. However, we intend to return to this issue and the inspection of early years settings that are co-located with, and managed by, a school at a later date.

92. ‘Short inspections will not lead to separate judgements on outcomes and other aspects of provision. Instead, they will reach an overall view of whether the quality of the provision is being sustained, with a particular emphasis on the leadership and management’s capacity to drive improvement

94. ‘We agree strongly with the view that inspectors should gather learners’ and parents’ views during inspections. They should also gather views from staff, both in groups and anonymously. We intend for this to be a core component of short inspections, just as it is for full inspections. During full and short inspections, inspectors will speak to learners both formally in groups and informally throughout the inspection. Ofsted gathers views through the online ParentView, LearnerView and EmployerView systems. We are updating ParentView in response to feedback. Following a trial in the autumn term 2014, we will introduce a free text box, from September 2015, that will give parents the space to raise any specific issues.

97. ‘Over the spring and summer terms of 2015 we will prepare to introduce the new Common Inspection Framework and short inspections for good schools and providers. Next steps are set out below.

The Department for Education will lay regulations that will enable short inspections to be conducted for schools judged good at their previous inspections. In the spring and summer terms, we will:

  • conduct pilot inspections under the Common Inspection Framework and conduct further short inspection pilots
  • train our inspectors so they are ready to inspect under the new framework
  • continue to engage with key stakeholders and experts to shape the detail of our proposals
  • publish the new Common Inspection Framework and the supporting handbooks for each of the remits in the summer term 2015.’

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