Press release

Ofsted consults on separate judgements

Separate graded judgments on the quality of nursery and reception, and post-16 provision in school inspection reports proposed.

The proposed changes, due to come into effect from September 2014, are designed to ensure inspectors place as much emphasis on these important stages of children’s education as on the quality of provision for 5 to 16-year-olds.

Ofsted wants to hear from schools, parents and other parties about whether they think the plans will provide a more rounded view of those academies and local authority maintained schools that provide these stages of education.

The consultation is published as Ofsted begins to consider how school inspections might develop more generally in future years. Evidence from the 7,000 inspections it carries out each year indicates that not all schools need to be inspected in the same way. Ofsted will consult on any wider, longer-term changes to school inspection in due course.

Ofsted’s National Director for Schools, Michael Cladingbowl, said:

‘We know that the early years of education set children up for life – so it is really important that schools get this right. I want our inspection reports to be even clearer about how well children are doing in reception and nursery classes. It’s also important that parents and young people have a clear understanding of how well the school’s sixth form is doing so they can make informed choices about where to continue their studies when they reach 16.

We are keen to hear the views of parents and learners as well as providers about our proposals to bring in these separate judgements.

We are also giving a lot of thought to how school inspection might develop over the longer term and will bring forward proposals for consultation in due course.

The consultation issued today asks two questions:

  • should there be a separate graded judgement on the effectiveness of the early years in the schools inspection framework from September 2014?
  • should there be a separate graded judgement on the effectiveness of a school’s sixth form?

Notes to editors

  1. Inspection of maintained schools and academies: consultation on the introduction of separate graded judgements on early school years and sixth form from September 2014 is available online. This proposes the introduction of separate graded judgements for the nursery, where applicable, and reception years; and for the sixth form, in Ofsted inspections of maintained schools and academies. The consultation runs from today for eight weeks until Tuesday 13 May. Ofsted will then publish a report which summarises the responses to this consultation. Ofsted will take account of responses in the revised school inspection framework from September 2014.

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