Changes to the 2014 OFSTED School Inspection Handbook

The latest OFSTED inspection handbook has a number of changes which are highlighted below.

  1. A few changes to commas.
  2. At page 5 there is a new subscript numbered 9 which reads – Further guidance for inspectors on obtaining complaints and concerns about a school in preparation of an inspection can be found in the guidance issued by the National Complaints Team, Inspector guidance for obtaining complaints and concerns information held by Ofsted in preparation for school inspections.  All other subscripts are re numbered accordingly.
  3. At Page 32 Paragraph 116 there is a minor an irrelevant change to the wording of the sentence.
  4. At page 32  subscript number 32 is reworded and now reads: Expected progress is defined by the government as two National Curriculum levels of progress between Key Stages 1 and 2 (for example, from Level 2a to Level 4, Level 2c to Level 4 or Level 3 to 5) and three National Curriculum levels of progress between Key Stages 2 and 4 (for example, from Level 3 to grade D, Level 4a to grade C or Level 4c to grade C). From 2013, expected progress data between Key Stages 1 and 2 in English are provided separately for reading and writing, but no longer aggregated for English.  Expected progress for pupils attaining below Level 1 of the National Curriculum at the end of Key Stages 1 or 2 is explained in Subsidiary guidance.
  5. At Page 35 there is a new subscript numbered 40 which reads: Inspectors will balance evidence about previous cohorts of pupils with evidence about the progress being made by the pupils being taught in the school currently.
  6. Paragraph 121 on page 37 now reads: Inspectors must not expect teaching staff to teach in any specific way.  Schools and teachers should decide for themselves how to teach. Inspectors should gather evidence to judge and report on how well children are engaged in lessons, acquire knowledge and learn well. Replacing the previous version which read: Inspectors must not expect teaching staff to teach in any specific way.  Schools and teachers should decide for themselves how to teach so that children are engaged in lessons, acquire knowledge and learn well.
  7. In the quality of teaching descriptions at page 40 under inadequate the sentence: Learning activities are not sufficiently well matched to the needs of pupils, has been removed.
  8. Paragraphs 129 from the old handbook has been expanded into paragraphs 129, 130, 131, 132 and 133 in the new handbook at page 41 and they add a considerable amount of detail to the way in which inspectors should evaluate behaviour and safety.  Inspectors will report an overall judgement for behaviour and safety but within the body of the report they are now asked to judge safety and behaviour separately.
  9. Paragraph 130 of the old handbook moves to paragraph 134 in the new handbook at page 42.  The bullet points have been revised.
  10. At bullet point 1 on page 42 there is now a new subscript numbered 45 which reads  For example, inspectors may consider how quickly children settle at the start of lessons, whether they have the right equipment, their willingness to answer questions, whether they remain focused when working on their own, the tidiness of their work and the pride they show in its presentation, and the overall effort that they make.
  11. At bullet point 2 on page 42 there is added the line including the prevalence of low-level disruption.
  12. Bullet point 4 on page 42 now reads rates, patterns of, and reasons for fixed-period and permanent exclusions, and that they fall within statutory guidance and regulations on exclusions.  There is an associated subscript added as well which reads http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/exclusion/g00210521/statutory-guidance-regs-2012
  13. Bullet point 5 of the old handbook is replaced with two new ones which read pupils’ contribution and response to the culture of the school; how they conduct themselves, including: their respect, courtesy and good manners towards each other and adults; their understanding of how such behaviour contributes to school life, relationships, adult life and work; and also pupils’ respect for the school’s learning environments (including by not dropping litter) facilities and equipment, and adherence to school uniform policies.
  14. The remaining bullet points from the old handbook are repeated.
  15. At page 44 of the new handbook the description for Good Behaviour and Safety has changed considerably.  There are three new descriptors which read Pupils are properly prepared for each lesson, bring the right equipment, and are ready and eager to learn and Pupils respond very quickly to staff’s instructions and requests allowing lessons to flow smoothly and without interruption. Low-level disruption in lessons is uncommon and Pupils take pride in their work, their appearance and their school.
  16. Para 137(formerly para 133) at page 46 of the new handbook is slightly reworded but not of significance.
  17. Para 139 (formerly para 135) at page 46 of the new handbook has two bullet points added which read the creation of a culture of high expectations and aspirations, academically and socially and the establishment of an orderly and hardworking school community.
  18. At page 47 of the new handbook under the section relating to how well leaders  and managers ensure the curriculum……… one bullet point is amended to read promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils, including through the extent to which schools engage their pupils in extra-curricular activity and volunteering within their local community.
  19. At page 48 of the new handbook one bullet point is amended to read how well the school’s strategies and procedures, including the provision of appropriate guidance, help pupils to prepare for life in modern democratic Britain and a global society, including through providing a balanced curriculum, and to prevent extremist behaviour.
  20. At page 51 of the new handbook in the description of outstanding practice there is added a bullet point which reads Senior leaders in the school work to promote improvement across the wider system.
  21. At page 52 of the new handbook in the description of good practice there is added a bullet point which reads The culture of the school is characterized by high expectations and aspirations for all pupils.
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