I have been working closely with schools in my constituency to improve standards of education, and to try push for emphasis on better quality of teaching particularly for children who may not excel in exam based assessment. Therefore, I am pleased that Ofsted has announced that it will be launching a new framework which will aim to measure children on quality of education rather than exam results.
The new framework proposes a shift that will re-balance inspection to make sure that young people are being taught the best of what has been thought and said. Instead of taking exam results and test data at face value, Ofsted will look at how a nursery, school, college or other provider’s results have been achieved – whether they are the result of broad and rich learning, or gaming and cramming. This is good for West Cornwall Schools who do a great job, often with large numbers of children with special educational needs.
- revised framework to focus inspection on what children learn through the curriculum, rather than over-reliance on performance data
- proposals will call time on the culture of ‘teaching to the test’ and off-rolling
- new separate behaviour judgement to give parents reassurance that behaviour is good
- most evidence-based, research-informed and tested framework in Ofsted’s 26-year history
Ofsted’s research has found that some children are having their teaching narrowed in schools in order to boost performance table points:
- in many primary schools, rather than reading a wide range of books, some children are instead spending their time repeating reading comprehension tests
- in certain secondary schools pupils are being forced to pick exam subjects a year or more early, meaning many lose out on the arts, languages and music
- at GCSE level, pupils are being pushed away from studying EBacc subjects such as history, geography, French and German, and towards qualifications deemed to be ‘easier’
Similar practices exist in the further education and skills sector, such as:
- some colleges offering ‘popular’ courses designed to attract maximum student numbers, rather than those which will lead to a job
- useful maths and English not being taught to support students’ vocational training
- apprenticeship providers focusing on quantity rather than quality, meaning young people don’t get the training they need
And in early years, instead of feeling able to spend time reading to children, or playing with them, nursery staff feel pressured into completing endless documentation to demonstrate each stage of a child’s development.
The new framework will seek to tackle these practices, looking instead at every stage of education from nursery to college, whether young people are being offered a rich curriculum which is taught well and leads to them achieving their all.
The consultation is open until 4 April 2019. Views are sought on the overall changes to the framework as well as on how they will work in practice for the individual education remits. All responses received will be considered carefully, and will help Ofsted to refine and improve the proposed approach before the final framework and inspection handbooks are published in summer 2019.
To respond, visit the following website: