September 2019

New OFSTED Framework

Top 10 Tips!

by David Harris NLE

Ofsted has published the finalised version of its new Inspection Framework, which will govern all school inspections from this September. 

David Harris (Executive Head Teacher: Ravenscote Junior School) has been through a pilot inspection this Summer and gives his Top 10 Tips that schools should be aware of as they prepare for inspection.  

Please click to read more. 

SAfE will be providing a series of briefings over the next half term to support schools in their preparations for the new inspection regime. 

David Harris NLE

Ravenscote Junior School


The new EIF handbook was released in September 2019 and schools will be inspected based on the new section 5 and section 8 handbooks. Here are 10 key things schools need to be aware of:

  1. The EIF places the Quality of Education (QE) at the heart of the framework. A school will need to consider how their curriculum intent, implementation and impact. The grade descriptors for the QE are divided into these three key areas and leaders will notice that in the intent section there are transition arrangements in brackets. School leaders need to reflect upon why they teach what they teach and how they ensure work across the curriculum is of good quality. A question to consider is how do teachers ensure they have high expectations in every subject?


  1. The transition arrangements are to help schools that are in the process of designing and planning their curriculums. They do not apply to reading, writing and mathematics. Transition arrangements will only be applied if inspectors can see clear evidence of intentions. It is not about what you hope to do it is about what you are working on.


  1. The grade descriptors for outstanding are very clear and with all the judgement areas outstanding is not a best fit, the EIF states clearly that to be outstanding all the criteria for good needs to be consistent and secure. In addition to this there are other criteria that needs to apply.


  1. The grade descriptors for behaviour and attitudes have some statements school leaders need to reflect upon; ‘low-level disruption is not tolerated’, ‘pupils have high attendance’,there is a demonstrable improvement in the behaviour and attendance of pupils who have particular needs’, and ‘leaders support all staff well in managing pupil behaviour’. During our pilot inspectors spoke to dinner supervisors, cooks and office staff to assess the impact of how we managed behaviour. They met with a wide range of pupils to question the impact of our behaviour policy.


  1. The focus on disadvantaged pupils and SEND is a key focus. Bullet point 169 states clearly the key groups that will be examined – ‘the most disadvantaged, the most able and pupils with SEND’. The outstanding judgement states that these groups must achieve exceptionally well. A question to consider is how high are your expectations for these pupils and how do you know?


  1. Reading is a key focus at primary and every inspection will include a deep dive into reading. Leaders and teachers need to be able to evidence how they prioritise reading, develop a love of reading and how leaders develop teachers as reader experts.


  1. Each section 8 and section 5 inspection will include ‘deep dives’ into subjects. A ‘deep dive’ has 6 key elements to it. Ofsted released a document called Inspecting the Curriculum which explains the methodology behind the way they will inspect. All leaders should take time to read this document with their staff. Page 8 of this document is a great diagram to use with teachers and governors. Judgements on the Quality of Education will be formed once every aspect of the deep dives are brought together.


  1. Schools will have up to three deep dives in a day and the focus of these deep dives will be based on the preparation and discussion between the headteacher and inspector. One of the deep dives will be into a foundation subject that is being taught on the day of the inspection. Leaders should not devise a timetable specifically for the inspection. Points 45, 46 and 47 on pages 13 and 14 highlight what inspectors will not do and what Ofsted does not require school to do.


  1. The new EIF talks about lesson visits – this means there are no longer lesson observations. The lessons visits are part of the deep dive and evaluate where a lesson sits in a sequence and leaders’/ teachers’ understanding of this.


  1. Section 8 inspections will generally involve an inspector on site for 2 days. Page 13 of the section 8 handbook explains the days allocated to the inspection (tariff). They are as follows:


  • less than 150 pupils – an inspection will last one day with 2 inspectors
  • between 151 and 600 – one inspector 2 days
  • more than 600 or a secondary up to 1100 2 inspectors day 1, one inspector day 2


These ten points are aspects I believe we need to be conscious of. The new EIF is a new process for us all and one which will enable us to reflect upon how we sequence learning and ensure that children know more and remember more.



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