New Ofsted inspection framework and EBacc expectations

Teachers will be aware that Ofsted has just published its new Common Inspection Framework, which will come into effect from 1 September 2015. The framework, and a handbook for inspecting schools, are now available from the Ofsted website.

We will provide a full briefing on the implications of the updated framework to members shortly*, but it is immediately clear that the new key judgement on ‘Personal development, behaviour and welfare’ will be of particular importance to PSHE practitioners. The criteria supporting this judgement emphasise, among other things, employability and safety from risks and it is difficult to see how schools will be able to demonstrate effectiveness without a high-quality PSHE programme.

In addition to this key judgement, PSHE education makes a significant contribution to a school’s safeguarding strategy. Ofsted’s updated safeguarding guidance for inspectors makes clear that a separate report on safeguarding will always be included within the key judgement on leadership and management, making the subject arguably more integral to the new framework.

At the same time, Nicky Morgan announced yesterday that pupils starting secondary school this September must study the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects of English, maths, science, history or geography and a language at GCSE. The Secretary of State also announced that there will be higher grading expectations for subjects in the future. Many schools will be looking closely at their curriculum in the context of these highly-significant announcements. 

Taken together, these changes to curriculum expectations and to the Ofsted framework constitute a shift in the operating environment for schools. It is a rapidly-changing setting for the DfE to make a decision about statutory status for PSHE and for heads and senior leaders to determine how it will fit within their school curriculum.

In response, we are preparing a briefing for members and will publish this shortly. We will also be updating our ‘Get Ready for Ofsted’ CPD day to reflect these changes. This course is next running in Bristol on 14th October, London on 16th October and York on 24th November – book on these or our other training days here.

We will also be on hand to support members with any queries related to the new framework and how their PSHE education provision can meet its criteria and will also explore the implications in our Annual Conference next week.

* August 2015 update: the briefing on the implications of the updated framework has now been released;


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