Ofsted makes significant changes to Inspection Framework


Ofsted has made significant changes to the way it inspects early years provision, schools and further education and skills, which will come in to effect from September 2015.

These changes include:

  • The introduction of a common inspection framework for all early years settings on the Early Years Register, maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills providers.
  • Short inspections for maintained schools, academies and further education and skills providers that were judged good at their last full inspection. These short inspections will be conducted approximately every 3 years.
  • Significant changes to Ofsted’s inspection workforce. From September 2015, Ofsted will contract directly with inspectors for maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills inspections.

Ofsted is introducing a common inspection framework (CIF) for all the education services that Ofsted inspects, including maintained schools and academies, further education (FE) and skills providers, non-association independent schools and registered Early Years settings.

In practice this means that all settings will receive graded judgements against the same areas. These will be:


  • Effectiveness of leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for children and learners.

From September 2015, schools that are already judged to be ‘good’ at their last section 5 inspection will no longer be subject to a full inspection every three to five years. Instead, they will receive a short inspection approximately once every three years.

In addition, Non-Association Independent Schools will all be inspected under the new Common Inspection Framework and against the revised independent school standards within three years.

There will also be an increased emphasis on safeguarding. Inspectors will evaluate the arrangements for safeguarding and inspectors will always make a written judgement in the leadership and management section about whether or not the arrangements for safeguarding children or learners are effective. This will also be reported, where required, under personal development and welfare.

Plus there will be greater emphasis on the suitability of the curriculum and the type and range of courses and opportunities offered by providers - plus specific reportingfor SEND, where Inspectors will consider how well the provision meets the needs of disabled children and learners and those with special educational needs.

Matthew Purves, Head of Education Inspection Reform at Ofsted, said: "We're doing this to introduce greater comparability, clarity and coherance to the way we inspect. What that means is that inspectors will make the same judgements using the same language, meaning the same things."

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