Following a consultation, we will inspect using our new education inspection framework (EIF) from September 2019.

The new framework sets out how we will inspect:

  • state schools
  • further education and skills providers
  • non-association independent schools
  • registered early years settings

Changes to inspections

Inspection will focus on the real substance of education, the curriculum.

Inspectors will spend less time looking at test data, and more time looking at what is taught and how it is taught. They will consider how a nursery, school, college or other education provider achieves its results.

We want to make sure that good results flow from teaching a broad, rich curriculum and reflect real learning, not just intensive preparation for a test.

We will be grading schools and other providers on the areas that matter most to parents:

  • the quality of education
  • behaviour and attitudes
  • personal development
  • leadership and management

What inspections will include

Inspectors will look at how a school contributes to pupils’ broader development, including their character, citizenship and resilience. They will also look at how the school manages behaviour, low-level disruption and bullying, so that parents can be assured that the school is one in which pupils are safe and able to learn.

Inspectors will check that school leaders are behaving with integrity by putting children’s interests first. This includes checking that schools do not enter pupils for qualifications that are inappropriate for the child but that may have a positive impact on the school’s published performance data.

Inspectors will also check that schools are not removing pupils from the school’s roll without a formal, permanent exclusion when this is not in the child’s best interests. We refer to this as ‘off-rolling’.

Inspection reports

We want to give parents clear and helpful information. This is to reassure parents about the education children are receiving now, as well as informing choices about their children’s future education.

Our reports will be shorter and clearer. They will tell parents what it’s like to be a child in that school, what the school is doing well and what it could be doing better.

We will keep our current grading system of:

  • outstanding
  • good
  • requires improvement
  • inadequate

It is not just about exam results.

Reports will tell you what behaviour is like at the school, how it tackles bullying, and whether children are learning the things they need to learn to get ahead in life.

We hope the changes we are making will help parents to make informed decisions about their children’s education.

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