New Ofsted inspection framework published

The Education Inspection Framework (EIF) has been published today, ahead of implementation in September. Ofsted's Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman

The new EIF was published alongside a report on the responses to the public three-month consultation. The inspectorate said it received more than 15,000 responses to its consultation on both the schools and early years handbook combined. It is the result of two years work including research and testing. 

A total of 250 inspections in early years providers, schools and further education and skills providers will take place before September. Only 1 in 5 responses were opposed to this new model. Events were held in every region. 

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, who will be speaking at our conference in June, describes Ofsted’s twin themes as substance and integrity. The framework will look at what is taught and how.

There are two new key judgements from September, these are behaviours and attitudes and personal development. This is following feedback from 80% of respondents favouring that this should be the case. There has been some disagreement so tweaks have been made to how they do it, not what they do. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: “It’s helpful that Ofsted has listened in part to the respondents of this huge consultation, which is very important for the early years sector.

“We know from feedback from our members that they have concerns about the language used and how inspectors will interpret this. They are pleased there is a clearer definition of ‘cultural capital’ but this still leaves some room for misinterpretation. 

“NDNA and our members still have concerns about the lack of focus on child-centred learning and how good and bad behaviour is interpreted in an early years setting by inspectors. A lot of this is dependent upon training of early years inspectors in order to address these concerns. 

“We welcome Ofsted’s change in direction for before and after school clubs, many of which are run by nurseries. Due to their circumstances, we agree that they should not be judged on the full framework.”

Many responses including those from early years organisations said judgment criteria for early years provision did not align with criteria for registered early years settings. 

The school’s handbook was too focused on reception age children, not two and three year olds. Ofsted amended this to ensure emphasis for early years children. 

The early learning goals have not been changed for reception aged children despite those in the early years highlighting that inspectors must take into account the age of children in early years and reception. 

Read the full consultation outcome report here

See the new EIF here