Ofsted has launched a consultation on the inspection of maintained schools and academies in England, following proposals announced in the 2011 Education Bill. This Bill aims to re-focus school inspection on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, backed by leadership and good discipline in schools. The consultation seeks views on how Ofsted will implement these changes, including when Ofsted should inspect.
Outstanding schools will no longer be subject to routine inspections unless concerns about their performance are identified, and the consultation asks for views on the factors inspectors should consider when assessing whether an inspection is needed. In addition, it asks for views on plans to carry out more frequent inspections of weaker schools and on the circumstances in which schools may request an inspection. Ofsted will also be testing the new inspection arrangements in pilot inspections, with a view to introducing the new system in January 2012, subject to the successful passage of the Education Bill.
Launching the consultation, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert said:
‘Inspection is at the heart of school improvement. Since Ofsted was created in 1992, inspectors have helped identify the strengths and weaknesses of schools, encouraging improvement, sharing good practice and reducing failure. ‘These proposals build on this experience and will give inspectors the chance to take an even closer look at those elements that impact most on improving standards for children and young people. In particular, we expect inspectors to spend even more time in the classroom, with a renewed emphasis on reading and literacy skills and the quality of teaching and learning.
Link to Ofsted statement for more information, the consultation runs until 20 May.