Keystone's digest of Ofsted's five year strategy
Ofsted have released their 5-year strategy. We've read the report, so you don't have to.
The report recognises that Covid has significantly disrupted both children's lives and their education. Covid has also impacted both pupil and staff physical and mental health while increasing safeguarding concerns. Their strategy promises to raise standards in schools, promote children's welfare and keep abreast with sector changes with a skilled workforce
One of Ofsted's aims is to safely allow children to learn & flourish while still bearing the government's policies in mind. Ofsted will also consider equality, diversity, and inclusion in all they do. They will offer independent advice on improving the education system to the government. Their annual assessment will also provide clarity on how effectively they have put their strategy into practice. To achieve these aims, Ofsted have laid out 8 Strategic Priorities.
Inspections that raise standards
Much has been made of Ofsted's promise to inspect all schools by July 2025, but their 5-year strategy lays out plans to use school inspections to stimulate improvements and raise standards. Ofsted aims to have over 90% of schools and trusts use their inspection as a framework for improvement. This will be achieved by increasing the number of longer format inspections and expanding the remit of teacher education inspection. Amongst the proposals are plans to assess all colleges to see if they meeting the skills needed in the economy over the next four years with the hope that this will lead to more compatibility between skills needed and skills being provided.
Making the most of insights
Through their inspections, Ofsted collects an enormous amount of data relating to the state of British schools in real-time. Over the next five years, Ofsted plans to share more of these insights with key stakeholders and policymakers and to undertake more research to fill in any knowledge gaps.
Ofsted's strategy has a heavy focus on early years with a goal to have more early year providers working at a good or outstanding level at the start of their careers. These judgements will be met with balanced enforcement. The hope is that these actions, combined with a review of social care inspections, the development of a new casework system and the simplification of childminder regulations will help safeguard children.
The best start in life
Leading on from the previous aim, Ofsted plans to continue to improve provision by developing their data pool and specialist training.
Keeping children safe
At inspections, Ofsted will now investigate the culture surrounding sexual behaviour with a new joint targeted area inspection (JTAI) programme to report on local safeguarding. They will also attempt to strengthen the law to increase their ability to act when children are being educated in unregistered schools.
Keeping pace with sector changes
Due to the changes in the education sector over the last few years, e.g. more large early years providers and MATs, Ofsted will review whether they have the "right model" of inspection while keeping the current EIF. Ofsted is seeking to increase the accountability of MATs while conducting more MATSEs. For SEND, they will be developing a new framework to hold agencies accountable for their roles while keeping in line with the new SEND review.
Accessible and engaged
Keeping up with the Civil Service Modernisation and Reform programme, Ofsted will seek new avenues to connect with more parents and carers. This, combined with improved efficiency, will ensure that more of the public is aware, and satisfied, with the services Ofsted provides.
A skilled workforce
Ofsted aim to have inspectors serve at least 3 years with more inspectors saying they have the right tools to be confident carrying out their work. To achieve this, they will implement a new strategy to recruit highly skilled and developed professionals and give them the confidence needed to make good quality decisions.