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HEADTEACHER Autumn 2 UPDATE The only magazine for all UK primary school headteachers

Schools braced for new-look inspections

With just four key judgements and one overall judgement does the new Ofsted Inspection Framework provide a simpler, more focused approach to inspection or herald a narrowing of provision?

The Department for Education (DfE) has been busy slimming down its guidance documents and the new Ofsted Inspection Framework is the latest example of rationalisation. The evalua- tion schedule has been reduced from 87 pages of guidance to 24. The intention is that inspectors can approach schools with a clear focus on four areas: n Achievement of pupils. n Quality of teaching. n Behaviour and safety. n Leadership and management. As well as these four judgements,

the final judgement of “overall effectiveness” includes: n The extent to which the school meets the needs of a range of pupils.

n How well the school promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development.

n The progression and destination of pupils when they leave the school.

There has been a guarded

welcome for the new framework wi th comments from the profession generally applauding this slimmer model. However, it also has critics who believe that “out of site is out of mind” and that the removal of specific judgements in some areas will lead to their disappearance from the educational landscape.

Slimming down: The DfE has stressed that teaching is the priority

Under threat The ECM acronym can be archived. Ever since the coalition government came to power, the DfE has made it clear that they believe schools must focus on their core activity and that other outcomes will result from this. Community cohesion has been dropped just as swiftly. There is reference to working in partnership with the community

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in the outline guidance but it is a fraction of the judgement that it was before. Equality of opportunity and

SMSC hold rather awkward positions within the schedule. The intention is that equality is woven throughout the framework and that SMSC is to be considered as part of the final “overall effectiveness”

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In light of a recent UNICEF study into the

wellbeing of UK children, Suzanne O’Connell asks whether our valuing of goods and brands has got out of control.

Michael Lees lost his wife, a teacher, to

the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma. He outlines his campaign to get special guidance and regulations to govern asbestos management in schools.

Tom Donohoe decided to dedicate a year to

improving his pupil’s reading. He outlines what strategies the school used and how successful they were.

The National Autistic Society recently carried

out a survey into how children with autism cope at school. We look at the results and ask how teachers can help pupils get the most from education.

With the first 100 teaching schools up

and running, Andy Buck from the National College and Liz Francis from the TDA outline their hopes for the scheme.

David Gregan tells us how his school is using

social networking to get its message across.

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