Ofsted Tracker, Highlights & Insights

Welcome to SAfE’s latest Ofsted tracker, highlights and insights

This month along with Ofsted data, and inspection highlights we are asking:

What are the most effective ways that educational leaders can support the personal development of pupils?’

Download Surrey’s March 2024 Inspection Tracker to find your school and access data by phase and cross-phase.

Ofsted Inspection Highlights for March 2024

  • This academic year there have been 70 inspections across Surrey Local Authority, this is 5% less than this time last year

  • 50% of inspections have been in maintained schools

  • 60% of inspections have been in Primary schools

  • 44% of inspections have been graded (S5)

  • Schools previously inspected in 2018/19 are in the Ofsted window

Number of Ofsted Inspections
Percentage of published graded inspections
Percentage of graded inspections
Comparison to 2022/23
Inspections in Primary Schools
Inspections in Maintained Schools

*Data only references inspection in the 2023/24 academic year

*Data correct as of 18 March 2024, for published grades

*Data compares historic Ofsted outcomes, with graded (Section 5) outcomes since September 2021

What are the most effective ways that educational leaders can support the personal development of pupils?

Schools have the responsibility to nurture not only a pupil’s academic progress but also their broader development and well-being. Personal development should encompass opportunities to develop a range of skills such as resilience, empathy and critical thinking. This will support pupils as they move through their education and beyond, allowing them to navigate through future life opportunities and challenges. By fostering pupil’s self-awareness, emotional intelligence and social skills personal development lays the foundations for an in depth understanding of the world. It also incorporates an understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle; emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The holistic growth a pupil makes during their time at school should be supported by a whole school cross curricular approach within which every member of staff has a responsibility. This should be guided by a clear ethos; where vision and values are embedded across the school and incorporated into a well-planned personal development strategy which provides pupils with access to a wide set of experiences in a coherently planned way.

OFSTED has a clear set of expectations for schools in relation to this area. Inspectors will evaluate a school’s intent to provide for the personal development of pupils and how its implementation is monitored and evaluated by senior leaders. Inspectors will assess the range of provision on offer, including for pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding and vulnerable pupils, rather than the impact of this provision on individual pupils. Inspectors know that evaluating the impact of this provision on a current cohort is not possible as these are the building blocks of future skills and knowledge.

So how can schools effectively support the personal development of pupils?

As personal development involves a broad spectrum of a school’s provision, carrying out an audit against the four different areas is a strong starting point. Through this, senior leaders can evaluate if opportunities for the elements involved in nurturing personal development are effectively woven through provision and will provide a contextual overview, pinpointing your school’s strengths and areas for focus to inform next steps planning. SAfE can support you with this, using the Surrey Inclusion Framework to support an in-depth evaluation of this aspect of your school’s provision, to register for the programme please email admin@schoolsallexcel.com.

The points summarised below can be used by senior leaders to support this self-evaluation:


A school’s curriculum is the core element of nurturing well-rounded individuals. By embedding planned personal development opportunities into every aspect of the curriculum, leaders can empower pupils to develop the skills, knowledge, and cultural capital to flourish both in their academic learning and in social and emotional development. Strategies to support learning within the classroom; such as collaborative learning, encouraging pupils to work together nurturing team work, will improve communication and problem-solving skills. Reviewing this across your school’s curriculum will illustrate this including through these key elements:

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development:

This provides a multi-faceted way of nurturing pupils growth beyond academic achievement. By promoting spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development, schools can help pupils develop a sense of identity and purpose, as well as the ability to be reflective about their own beliefs and respect the feelings and values of other faiths.

Relationship, Sex Education:

Preparing pupils at an age-appropriate level to have an understanding of consent and healthy relationships including online safety and risks.

Physical Education:

High quality PE lessons can support pupils in developing an enjoyment of regular physical activity and how this supports mental wellbeing. These lessons provide opportunities for teamwork, leadership, and communication.

Religious Education:

A strong RE curriculum will develop pupils’ understanding and respect of a diverse range of cultures and beliefs and encourages pupils to have empathy and respect for others.

Valuing pupil voice:

Engaging with pupils through both planned and ‘in the moment’ activities will provide a range of information. This could include reviewing the opportunities pupils have to be leaders or mentors and to give their thoughts and ideas. How you approach this as a school will depend on your context. There are many ways in which this can be meaningfully done.

Promoting a positive school culture:

Senior leaders play a crucial role in creating this. Fostering equality of opportunity through a learning environment that promotes respect, inclusivity and cooperation. Setting clear expectations for behaviour and communication whilst establishing and embedding policies which value diversity, encourage debate and support pupils in making the right behaviour choices are all key.

Well-developed pastoral care:

A well-developed system for identifying and reporting pastoral concerns which are understood, accessible and used by the whole school community will support the emotional development of pupils and will model strategies for supporting themselves and others. Ensure careful monitoring of attendance and punctuality coupled with actively teaching pupils the reasons why this is important.

Extra-curricular opportunities:

Reviewing how these opportunities support a range of skills such as leadership, resilience, confidence and collaboration and the uptake of these will further support the personal development of pupils.

Preparation of pupils to successfully move to the next stage of their education:

A well-planned transition strategy supported through opportunities for visiting, and discussion with pupils. Building good communication between feeder schools whereby staff and parents can share key information. Providing tailored support for SEND pupils can make a significant difference in their transition experience.

Extra-curricular activities:

Consideration for the provision, quality and take up of extra-curricular activities offered by the school. Well-thought-out activities which provide opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests are of exceptional importance.

Professional development for staff:

Building teachers’ knowledge and skills on how to teach specific content and foster pupil personal development, through professional development, coaching, mentoring, and collaboration.

Governors should ensure that their triangulation of information gives them a clear insight into how the school is strategically planning for the personal development of pupils. There are many questions which governors can use to support this. Examples include:

  • How can we as governors assure ourselves that provision to support personal development is strong?

  • How are pupils supported to make informed choices about healthy eating, fitness, and their emotional and mental well-being?

  • How has the school prepared themselves for supporting pupils where trauma or crisis is an issue?

  • How does the school foster a culture of respect, inclusion and diversity among pupils and staff?

  • How does the school provide opportunities for pupil voice, including leadership skills?

  • How well do pupils behave in lessons and around the school?

  • How good are attendance and punctuality?

In conclusion, effective Personal Development within a school setting is a multifaceted process that requires a supportive environment, careful planning and a curriculum which fosters self-awareness and growth. Ultimately, the measure of effective personal development in a school is not just academic success but in nurturing well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the complexity of the real world.


“Your visit last autumn was a catalyst for some of the transition we saw recognised today, and  prepared the team for the rigour of the inspection. As always – thank you for the insight, the feedback and the benefit of your knowledge and experience.”