As detailed by Old Andrew here, I attended a meeting with the new National Director for Schools Policy, Sean Harford in Birmingham on Friday 25th July. This had followed a series of telephone calls and emails in which I provided “free consultancy” on Ofsted’s new Inspection Handbook.
During the past month Sean has “taken a scythe” to the 500+ pages of subsidiary and subject specific guidance to produce a slimmed down document that will be useful to inspectors, and that while schools should be aware of it, it should not be seen as in any way prescriptive.
I’ve only had a hand in the guidance on Quality of Teaching, but here are some of the highlights:
Inspectors should not grade the quality of teaching in individual lesson observations, learning walks or equivalent activities. In arriving at a judgement on the overall quality of teaching, inspectors must consider strengths and weaknesses of teaching observed across the broad range of lessons. These must then be placed in the context of other evidence of pupils’ learning and progress over time, including work in their books and folders, how well pupils can explain their knowledge and understanding in subjects, and outcomes in tests and examinations.
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