2019 Ofsted framework ‘exit poll’

Following the release of Ofsted’s proposed 2019 framework, we polled school leaders in The Key’s network to get their reactions to the changes. In this blog, we delve into the results and the possible insight they may offer into the consultation sentiment.

New judgements welcomed, mixed opinion on the rest

Over 1,000 of our members responded to our call for a snap verdict on the proposal, the results of which provide an interesting insight into the sector’s reaction to the changes.

Overwhelmingly, our members agree with the much-heralded proposals to assess a school’s ‘quality of education’ and to have separate judgements for ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’. Elsewhere, they are less united, and typically less positive, in their views about the changes to inspection arrangements and what data inspectors look at.

Source: The Key, 2019 Ofsted framework ‘exit poll’, January 2019

 

Who agrees with what?

Interestingly, all phases, types of school, regions and role of respondent overwhelmingly agree that the proposed ‘quality of education’ judgement is a good thing, with special schools coming in as the greatest supporters. When we dig into into the 80% of those in favour of separate judgements for ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’, secondaries are slightly more likely to be positive about the separate judgements (86% vs 76% in primaries).

When analysing the less positive responses, primary schools are more likely to be against on-site preparation before the inspection starts (69% vs 44% in secondaries) and longer section 8 inspections (58% vs 41% in secondaries).

The proposal for inspectors not to look at a school’s internal progress and attainment data is the one causing the greatest division, with a close split of 47% in favour, and 43% against. Primary schools are marginally more likely to favour this proposal (51% vs 45% of secondary schools).

What does this mean?

Amy Cook, our Head of Content comments:

“Our members have shown unanimous support for two of the biggest proposed changes in the draft framework – the changes to the inspection judgements. This signals a clear step in the right direction for Ofsted.

However, our results also show some hesitation about the proposed logistical changes to inspections. Some school leaders are also concerned that the framework may actually add to their workload issues, with the proposed ‘on-site preparation’ the day before an inspection a particular source of worry. Others question how  Ofsted will ensure that inspectors on the ground are consistent – especially in how they assess the curriculum. In fact, in addition to our poll questions, we asked members to share with us the questions they’d like to put directly to HMCI Amanda Spielman. We received nearly 500 responses, which we’ll take to Ofsted on behalf of our members in the coming weeks.

Of course, its early days, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these findings replicated in the consultation feedback itself as the sector debates the pros and cons of the proposals.”

 

 The consultation period is open now until the 5th April 2019, have your say here.

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