Views & Opinion

Five steps to get yourmiddle leadersOfsted ready

Comment by ALICE SHEPPERSON, Senior Product Manager: CurriculumServices at Pearson.

The new Ofsted inspections are focusing more on middle leaders than ever before. Here are five steps that will help get them Ofsted ready:

Is your curriculum ‘Vision’ alive and well in your staffroom, or is it lying dead in a folder somewhere?

Ensure yourmiddle leaders are onboardwith yourwhole-school vision: Ofsted want to see that each school’s ethos and curriculum intent is owned by everyone, not concentrated in the hands of the headteacher and a few SLT members. Think beyond just your curriculum; are you confident that school-wide policies, for example on behaviour or wellbeing, are being consistently applied?

Developing subject-level planning documents can be a great help. Ofsted are interested in curriculum planning documents (though they don’t always look at them) and lots of time is being spent creating subject intent statements, curriculum maps and learning journeys.What’s important is that your subj

bject leads are able to explain why they are

teaching what they are teaching in the order they are teaching it. Documents are useful in making sure all your teachers can articulate the reasoning and sequencing behind the content, especially when multiple teachers are delivering the same curriculum. But don’t get hung up on the latest trendy format – Ofsted are fine with a boring old spreadsheet!

supporting curriculum thought in your subject leaders while allowing them are really going to make your curriculum vision come to life. How are you bject leads are the people who

Cultivate yourmiddle leaders! Your subj space to use their deep subject knowledge? Think about all your subjects

framework that’s ideal forMaths but totally unsuitable for History or Art. when making decisions about curriculum planning - don’t create a

Inexperienced subj bject leads may need support in developing curriculum

Is your curriculumaccessible to all? There are many accounts of Ofsted planning skills – subject associations are a great source of knowledge.

inspectors asking teachers to explain how they are helping specific students to make progress, especially SEND students. Ofsted want specific examples of how teachers are making the curriculum accessible. Now might be a good time to review how SEND students are being supported to access the full curriculum, and check that all teachers are approaching this in a similar way.

Think carefully befo foremocking your teachers! Lots of schools are

conducting mock Ofsted inspections with mock deep dives to make sure subj

bject leaders are prepped for inspection. This can be reassuring to you as an SLT member, and valuable for some teachers, especially if they are new in role or have recently developed a new curriculum. But it can be a burden – some teachers have complained to their union about the extra workload and stress. A selective approach may be more appropriate: only deep dive subject leads who want to practise, and if you do conduct mock inspections, do your homework and make sure you are asking Ofsted- realistic questions.

Hopefully these steps will help ensure that SLT and middle leaders are pulling together to deliver a shared vision of education that will really impress Ofsted.

A series of free Handy Guides toOfs fsted’s Inspection Framework are available to download at:

FE collegesmust ‘up-skill’ ifwe are to ensure

re the construction

industry is ‘fit for the future’ Comment by DAV

AVID HALL, Part British Gypsum rtnerships The UK’s £5bn construction ind

ustry is facing a Director at

major recruitment crisis with 168,500 workers needed in the next four years alone. The severe shortage of young talent entering the construction profession means housing targets risk not being met and investment lost, threatening our economy. This difficult situation persists as there is a stigma that prevents young people entering the profession, one that fails to reflect the reality of those who enjoy great job satisfaction in the skilled construction

trades. It has resulted in around a third of UK construction firms employing migrant workers to help fill the skills gap, a crisis that is in

If we’re going danger of being

to address the skills shortage, the ro exacerbated further still post-Brexit.

le of technical and

vocational training will be critical to delivering the young skilled workers that are urgently needed. This means offering training that is ‘fit for purpose’ which is the aim of new Trailblazer apprenticeship for the

collaboration with its partners including British Gypsum aims to establish a This apprenticeship developed by industry federation FIS in interiors and finishes sector.

new standard that is ‘fit for the future’. Its approval in July 2019 was 20

closely followed with the publishing of the Competency Steering Group’s (CSC) ‘Raising the bar’ interim report, which set out a package of measures to help tackle competency shortcomings identified in the Hackett Review following the Grenfell tragedy.

These new measures included: - a new oversight body, building safety register and fire science as part of CPD to improve the competency of those who design, construct and manage higher risk residential buildings. The report even calls for this improved competency framework to be extended to construction training too.

This all means that FE colleges are at the forefront of a new ‘culture change’ for the industry through CPD for course tutors, to support the delivery of apprenticeships that will ensure safer, high quality workmanship.

This is why we welcome the news of the maximum funding band of £14k for each student to support the delivery of this new Interior Systems Apprenticeship Standard. This flagship project was the culmination of three years’ work resulting in the development of a Level 2

Apprenticeship. The interior systems trades are skilled and very diverse in their needs, which can make courses expensive to run, but having secured the required funding band we have overcome this ‘barrier’.

Commitment to colleges

Through our Thistle Partnership, British Gypsum already supports 60 colleges nationally, to deliver high quality training to 3,500 plastering students and apprentices annually. This new standard further demonstrates our commitment to the next generation of tradespeople entering our industry.

To that end, we are now looking to help those colleges that are interested in delivering the Interior Systems standard through ongoing CPD for course tutors and by providing the learning resources they need to deliver high quality training to ensure our industry is really ‘fit for the future’.

March 2020

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