Ofsted’s consultation on its proposed new Framework closes on 5th April. The url is here:
Here are the comments I made in my response.
In the inspection handbook, paragraph 162, it states:
" It is therefore the government’s ambition that 75% of Year 10 pupils in state-funded mainstream schools should be starting to study EBacc GCSE courses nationally by 2022 (taking their examinations in 2024), rising to 90% by 2025 (taking their examinations in 2027). It is important that inspectors understand what schools are doing to prepare for this to be achieved, and they should take those preparations into consideration when evaluating the intent of the school’s curriculum."
I don't see why it should be Ofsted's job to check that schools are meeting a VOLUNTARY 'target' that is actually only a Government 'ambition'. It's also potentially at odds with the statement in paragraph 46 that Ofsted does not expect schools to ... be at similar stages of EBacc implementation as other schools, or provide additional information outside of their normal curriculum planning. Ofsted inspectors won't be able to help themselves developing some benchmark in their own mind about what an school 'should' have achieved if it shares certain characteristics with other schools.
Workload and research
Leaders will be evaluated according to
"the extent to which leaders take into account the workload and well-being of their staff in order to deliver a high-quality education, while also developing and strengthening the quality of the workforce"
Given the emphasis on research throughout the document, I think the link between workload and research should be made stronger. For example, school leaders should be expected to be able to produce or cite research to back up their insistence on practices like triple marking.
In paragraph 44 it states that Ofsted will not
"create unnecessary workload for teachers through its recommendations",
and in paragraph 45 it gives a list of all the things they won't ask for, such as evidence in a particular format.
These promises need to be explicitly linked to paragraph 166:
"Inspectors will also consider any documents that leaders normally use in their curriculum planning, but will not request materials to be produced or provided in any specific format for inspection."
and also the sections on workload. Reason: the emphasis on curriculum is virtually guaranteed to result in senior leaders asking curriculum leaders for reams of documentation setting out not only what the curriculum is (which should be on the school website already anyway), but justifying it. Please note: I think curriculum choices SHOULD be justifiable; I'm just objecting to the probability that some senior leaders will produce some kind of 6 page pro forma they will ask curriculum leaders to complete.