In this week’s blog we look at the new planned Ofsted framework and what this might mean for schools.

“It is my aim that the new framework places much more emphasis than the current one on the substance of education: the curriculum.” Angela Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector

The new inspection framework which will be implemented in September 2019 as outlined in various recent speeches by Angela Spielman and updates from the Inspectorate plans to free schools from the pressure to concentrate on SAT and test results.

The framework will include a ’quality of education’ judgement which will empower schools to concentrate on a broader and more balanced curriculum.  Indeed curriculum will be at the very heart of any inspection.  Angela Spielman stresses that under the quality of education three aspects will be prioritised:-


What is it that schools want for their children?


How is the teaching the curriculum realising the intent?


What is the impact of the curriculum on the children’s attainment and achievement?

Too many teachers and leaders have not been trained to think deeply about what they want their pupils to learn and how they are going to teach it. There was curriculum narrowing, especially in upper Key Stage 2, with lessons disproportionately focused on English and mathematics. Sometimes, this manifested as intensive, even obsessive, test preparation for Key Stage 2 SATs that in some cases started at Christmas in Year 6.  Such concentration defeats the pursuit of real, deep knowledge and understanding of subjects

The national curriculum ‘provides an important benchmark’, the way the curriculum is delivered should be up for the schools and school leaders to decide based on the school’s context and the needs of its pupils.  It will be important for schools to have the autonomy to choose the curriculum which most benefits their pupils, and Ofsted will reward those schools which are bold and ambitious in their curriculum design.

Research showed that primary school leaders enriched their schools’ quality of education with well-planned regular trips to the local area and beyond that were tightly linked to their curriculums.

Read the HMCI commentary:curriculum and the new education inspection framework