We are awaiting the outcome of the consultation, which closed last month, on whether outstanding schools should continue to be exempt from inspection. The Department for Education has made it clear that it believes that ‘the exemption is starting to lead to a loss of confidence in the outstanding grade’. With this in mind and, subject to outcome and parliamentary approval, the government intends to commence routine inspections of outstanding schools from September 2020, beginning with those that have not been inspected for a decade or longer.

Cause for concern

The outcomes of recent inspections of outstanding schools have been alarming. In the autumn term 2019, 84 schools received section 8 inspections deemed section 5. Of these, only 4 remained outstanding. Shockingly, 16 were downgraded to as low as requires improvement or inadequate.

Changes to the inspection framework

A significant problem for many outstanding schools is that there have been a number of changes to inspection frameworks since they were last inspected. As a result, it has been difficult for some to keep up with the increasing demands and expectations. Leaders, at both middle and senior level, have often had little experience of the inspection process. It could be argued that the new education inspection framework, with its emphasis on curriculum and the role of middle leaders, is the most challenging one yet.

Anxiety setting in

We have had an increasing number of enquiries from outstanding schools who are anxious about what the removal of the exemption means for them.

We are here to help

We have been successfully supporting schools for many years, including high performing schools, to drive improvement in key areas. We understand the issues that schools face and have extensive experience of helping leaders to address them.

We know what works but, most importantly, we know how to personalise support in a way that is bespoke to your school and meets your very specific requirements. What is more, we ensure that everything we do is developmental and builds capacity within your leadership so that you can be confident that school improvement will continue after we leave.

What we can do for you

B11 can conduct a developmental review with your staff in the context of the new framework, which will provide an independent, external evaluation of your current position and give recommended actions to address areas for improvement. We can also provide developmental curriculum reviews, working alongside your middle leaders, to help them to articulate and evaluate their curriculum intent and the quality and consistency of its implementation. Depending on outcomes, our consultants can then deliver ongoing support to work with you and your staff to implement those actions in advance of an inspection so that you are Ofsted ready.

Alternatively, we can provide training on the new framework so that your staff understand fully what to expect from an inspection under the EIF, their role during a deep dive and the kinds of questions that may be asked of them and their pupils.

If you are interested in booking a free consultation to see how B11 Education could support your school to maintain its outstanding status, contact us today.


Please share this post