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Research round-up (9 October 2018)

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This week’s featured report, somewhat ironically, isn’t technically a piece of research. It’s the school inspection update (September) from Ofsted. 

While it may not fill your heart with glee to spend time reading an Ofsted update, we think it’s important that you know what the inspectorate is saying about how it is inspecting schools and what that might mean for you as a middle leader. 

In this update, there is a focus on the following: 

  • 2018 GCSE results
  • How inspectors should use data on inspection
  • ‘Outliers’ and limiting the impact of extremely negative progress scores for some pupils
  • The issue of off-rolling
  • Floor and coasting standards
  • Inspecting schools that are part of multi-academy trusts. 

There is one particular paragraph in the update that we think will be of interest to you. It reminds inspectors to “avoid over-focusing on detailed data, including data for groups or sub-groups of pupils, and move beyond the data as quickly as possible to ascertain how well the curriculum is being taught.” 

This is part of a general trend in Ofsted to move away from an over-reliance on data and begin looking more carefully at curriculum design and implementation. We are particularly pleased to see inspectors being directed to stop over-focusing on small sub-groups. 

Kind regards 

James Bowen
NAHT Edge director

Also out this fortnight: