In-sight is back after an unexpected hiatus. With the term well under way, there is the opportunity to reflect on the changes that have come into being since we returned in September.

The new Ofsted inspection framework came into being this academic year and several of our schools have already been inspected under it. Feedback from their experiences has been received and the changes signal a shift in the way that inspections are conducted. In particular, the focus on the intent of a school’s curriculum poses both a challenge and an opportunity for headteachers and their colleagues. Having to articulate why a topic is taught or the priority given to a specific subject in the timetable is a departure from how schools have been inspected previously. Likewise, so-called ‘deep dives’ into curriculum areas mean that the implementation and impact of the curriculum are assessed in detail. This is also a significant change to the way Ofsted works. I believe that these changes are welcome in that they ensure that inspections focus on the experience of children and young people as much as the outcomes in terms of exam results. I was delighted to see this focus on the experience of children when I recently visited St Mary and St Giles Church of England School and in the company of Kate Holland, the headteacher and Daniel Mullins, the chair of governors. In a very short space of time, Kate and her colleagues are transforming the experience of students.

 

As a Diocesan Board of Education, we look to support our schools respond to this curriculum challenges through events such as one that I dropped into earlier this week. Anne Andrews, our RE Adviser provided high-quality training to a room full of RE leaders and teachers on Wednesday and it was a privilege for me to be part of their experience albeit briefly.

Till next week.
Tony