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Ofsted – School Inspection Update

Ofsted released its “School Inspection Update: Special Edition” on 8th September.

The update contained:

  1. The announcement of the replacement of the Inspection Dashboard with a new Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR). The new report contains:
    • Front page overview of data with “areas to investigate”
    • Context pages showing pupil characteristics and prior attainment
    • Less group data detail but does include trends and whether the group, where relevant and meaningful, has performed well or poorly over time
    • Indication of performance against the floor standards and coasting measures
    • Trends of attainment and progress measures over time compared to other schools
    • Scatterplots to allow inspectors to identify clusters of pupils and outliers that have affected the average
  2. Inspectors have been reminded that outlier results, particularly in progress VA, can affect school averages.
  3. A large part of the update focuses on secondary school data and the impact of the new GCSE grades in English and maths, and of the reformed A-levels. Ofsted have set up a data analyst helpdesk to support inspection teams so that they can discuss queries with statistics experts. The update sets out for inspectors the key issues they need take into consideration when inspecting secondary school data. In addition Ofsted is paying particular attention to schools that are “gaming the system” by looking for subject overlap and the use of non-core subject qualifications. The new IDSR will indicate this issue for inspectors.
  4. Inspectors have been warned against “over focusing” on the performance of groups where data is not robust. Often multiple characteristic groups have few members and so data is an unreliable indicator of group performance.
  5. Inspectors have been warned again about the continuing uncertainties about data derived from teacher assessments, in particular KS2 writing performance data should be used very carefully.
  6. ASP (Analyse School Performance) is referenced, as is a link to the 8 accredited suppliers (one of whom is For Schools Support). Inspectors are reminded that schools may present their data using any of the accredited provider systems.
  7. The EBacc consultation is summarised for inspectors, the main thrust being the continuing push towards a curriculum for most students that is based on this measure.

Finally there is a reminder that a new inspection handbook will be published in the second half of this term.

The full Ofsted update document can be found here.

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