Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector sets out plans for new Ofsted framework

25 October 2018

In her speech to SCHOOLS NE on 11 October Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, set out the plans and proposals for the new inspection framework that will come in to effect in September 2019.

Force for improvement

She was clear that Ofsted’s underlaying principle was to be a ‘force for improvement’ and they tested all their activity against its ability to deliver this, saying:

‘Inspection and regulation are essential to well-run public services. But if they are done in the wrong way, they can do more harm than good. That is why the test of being a force for improvement is so important.’


Ofsted will be proposing that inspectors spend more time in schools, and adopt a focus on what is being taught, not just results.

‘We want to know what is being taught and how schools are achieving a good education, not just what the results are looking like.’


New Quality of Education judgement

The existing grade descriptors, from Outstanding to Inadequate, will stay. As now, there will be four judgements in the new framework.

Ofsted are proposing a new judgement on the ‘quality of education’, removing the outcomes judgement, and tweaks to the other existing judgements.

The final four judgements could look like this:

  • Quality of Education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management

The new Quality of Education judgement will look at three distinct aspects: intent, implementation and impact. Ofsted hopes this new emphasis will stop the incentive to put test results over pupil needs, and make it is easier for schools to focus on delivering the education children need, rather than improving league table results.

Spielman specifically mentioned arts subjects, saying the new framework will:

‘ … make it easier for secondary schools to do the right thing, offering children a broad range of subjects and encouraging the take-up of core EBacc subjects such as the humanities and languages at GCSE, alongside the arts and creative subjects.’


Consultation January 2019

Consultation on these new proposals, including the text of the inspection handbooks, will start in January 2019.

You can read the Ofsted press release that summarised the speech, and the full text of the speech, as well as coverage by the BBC, Schools Week and the TES.