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Ofsted confirms changes to inspection framework

By Rachel Lawler
children early years setting
Ofsted has confirmed that its proposed new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) will come into place this September.
The consultation on the new framework received 15,000 responses – more than any other in Ofsted’s history – which broadly supported the proposed changes.
Ofsted reported that a number of responses from the early years sector said that the new framework did not align with early years settings, so it says that the EIF has been amended to include greater emphasis on the needs of younger children.
Quality of education

Ofsted will replace its “quality of teaching, learning and assessment” with a new “quality of education” judgement.
Amanda Spielman, chief inspector at Ofsted, said: “The new quality of education judgement is re-balancing education to look more closely at what is being taught and how it’s taught, that’s really getting to the substance, with test and exam outcomes being looked at in that context rather than as a standalone thing in isolation.”
Two new key judgements are also included in the new framework – ‘behaviours and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’.
Settings will continue to be awarded one of four grades – outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate – after an inspection but the reports generated will be redesigned to make them easier for parents to read.

Cultural capital

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "We welcome the evolution of the early years inspection framework and the strong focus on outcomes. Releasing the draft frameworks as part of the consultation enabled the sector to give considered feedback, which Ofsted has recognised in the final documents. We are pleased the documents have been released now to give practitioners the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new handbooks before the autumn term begins."

"We do still have concerns about some of the detail within the new framework. For example, the reference to Cultural Capital that has no clarity or detail other than a reference to the wording in the National Curriculum. We would invite Ofsted to work with us to support the sector to get clarity where it is required."

"In the early years section of the schools framework, we are pleased that it explicitly notes EYFS is the curriculum that needs to be followed for all children up to the age of five, although we were a little puzzled at the odd statement later in the document where it says the EYFS curriculum ‘provides no limits or barriers to the children’s achievements.’ This was not in the original schools handbook, and it feels like a grudging acceptance of EYFS.

Workload pressures

"We particularly welcome the acknowledgement of the impact of workload on early years practitioners and how leaders and managers can support that. It builds on the work the Alliance is carrying out in partnership with Ofsted and the Department for Education to identify what paperwork and administration causes the most stress in the sector."

"All in all this was a good consultation and we hope Ofsted keeps listening in order to address some of the finer detail as the framework gets put into practice."

You can read the new inspection framework and handbook here.
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