The release of the new draft inspection framework by Ofsted has implications for schools’ safeguarding procedures.
Safeguarding was a separate judgement in the last framework and ‘the effectiveness of safeguarding procedures’ came under leadership and management. It was also given the status of being a ‘limiting judgement’, so if a school was inadequate against this, then overall effectiveness was likely to be inadequate too.
however in the new framework, limiting judgements no longer exist and safeguarding no longer has its own section. Instead under the leadership and management judgement in the new Ofsted framework, school leaders are required to demonstrate that they ensure that all pupils are safe. Inspectors will be looking for evidence that school leaders and managers at all levels manage safeguarding arrangements to ensure that there is safe recruitment, and that there are effective procedures in place to identify children in need or at risk of significant harm. To qualify as ‘outstanding’ in this aspect of leadership and management, the school’s arrangements for safeguarding pupils must ‘meet statutory requirements and give no cause for concern’. The same phrase is used for ‘good’ and ‘satisfactory’ schools. Schools will register as ‘inadequate’ if safeguarding arrangements do not meet statutory requirements and give serious cause for concern.
It is therefore clear that the emphasis on safeguarding has been reduced in the new evaluation schedule.
Also , under the government’s School health and safety guidance (issued in August 2011) risk assessments do not now have to be completed for every activity. In fact, Health & Safety: Department for Education Advice on Legal Duties and Powers for Local Authorities, Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies emphasises that risk assessments need not be routinely carried out or repeated for similar activities. However, an assessment should be completed for any new activity that includes an element of risk.
The changes will be overseen by the newly-appointed chief inspector of schools , Sir Michael Wilshaw
who hopes to improve standards by cracking down on “ineffective” teachers. He said “very robust” performance management systems were needed. From January, he will head Ofsted and its new streamlined inspection framework, which will emphasise four key areas – pupil achievement, teaching standards, behaviour and school leadership. He has been described as traditional in his approach to improving standards at the London school of which he was head. BBC News: Academy head named Ofsted chief
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. Continue reading Ofsted Consultation on School Inspections
The interim report on child protection by Eileen Munro has been published today. It signals a new approach which will focus on helping children rather than on regulations, inspections and procedures. The areas for reform in the interim report include:
Several elements of the new Education Bill will impact safeguarding in schools. Continue reading Education Bill impacts barring decisions