Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) introduces a new strategy for inspection known as ‘the deep dive’.

This will involve in-depth scrutiny of subjects and areas of your school which will be of specific interest to the inspection team.

This scrutiny involves not only senior leaders but also subject leaders: in fact, everybody involved in your school will need to play a vital part in ensuring that you present your school in the best possible light.

The deep dive includes the following elements:

  • evaluation of senior leaders’ intent for the curriculum in this subject or area, and their understanding of its implementation and impact
  • evaluation of curriculum leaders’ long- and medium-term thinking and planning, including the rationale for content choices and curriculum sequencing
  • visits to a deliberately and explicitly connected sample of lessons
  • work scrutiny of books or other kinds of work produced by pupils who are part of classes that have also been (or will also be) observed by inspectors
  • discussion with teachers to understand how the curriculum informs their choices about content and sequencing to support effective learning
  • discussions with a group of pupils from the lessons observed.

So just how well prepared are you for this new approach and how confident is everybody in your school to take an active and meaningful part in the deep dive?

Headteachers and senior leaders – How confident are you that you can articulate and demonstrate the quality of your education with a particular emphasis on how you will be able to show your commitment to ambition for all, including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND?

Have you constructed a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life? How inclusive and ambitious is your curricular offer?  How effective is the CPD offer to your teachers and classroom assistants and can you demonstrate its impact?

Subject leaders are the members of staff who will be at the forefront of many inspection activities. Do they have the skills to explain the rationale behind the subject intent; undertake lesson visits with inspectors explaining as they do what they expect to see in each lesson; identify whether delivery is consistent and meets their expectations; and outline what they will do to address any identified areas of development and how they will evaluate the impact of their actions?

Teachers – How well prepared are your teachers for intense scrutiny of the work that their pupils produce? Will it demonstrate that pupils ‘know more and remember more’? Are they prepared for the ‘lesson visits’ rather than the previous methodology of ‘lesson observations’? Importantly, can they demonstrate their understanding of the sequencing of the curriculum and explain how it builds and embeds knowledge? How skilled are they in checking pupils’ understanding systematically, identifying misconceptions accurately and providing clear, direct feedback?

The use of assessment is fundamentally different under the EIF because scrutiny of schools’ own data is not part of the process. So, how can you demonstrate your SEF assertions without reference to your in-house data?

What about your use of formative assessment? Is it being used effectively without overburdening staff?

Pupils – What is it like to be a pupil in your school? How well do your pupils articulate their learning? Do they understand the learning journey and can they explain how skills and concepts link? Will they be able to speak knowledgeably and confidently to inspectors?

Attitudes to learning – Are these positive and are pupils committed to their learning? Do they know how to study effectively, and are they resilient to setbacks? Do they take pride in their achievements?

SMSC – How effectively are you ensuring that your curriculum extends beyond the academic, vocational or technical and provides for your pupils’ broader development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development?

Governance – Do governors ensure that the school has a clear vision and strategy, that resources are managed well and that leaders are held to account for the quality of education?

B11’s team of highly experienced consultants can support you and your teams to answer these questions clearly, providing convincing evidence to support your judgements.

Get in touch today or visit B11’s services page to read more about how our bespoke solutions can identify strengths and areas for development, providing precise next steps to secure improvement.




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