New Ofsted Framework 2019: Changes explained [incl. Video Interview]

Posted by Graham Newell on July 4, 2019

The new Ofsted Framework will come in to affect in September 2019, so read on for all you need to know. 

In this video interview, Andy Newell, Managing Director of IRIS Connect interviews Daniel Muijs, Deputy Director of Ofsted about the new framework. The questions asked in this interview were selected by school leaders and cover topics such as evidence-informed practice, domain specific CPD and Ofsted’s latest approach to observations. 

Prior to this interview taking place, we had shared a breakdown of the Ofsted Framework 2019, highlighted what the four Ofsted judgements are, what's changed with the inspection guidelines and how it will affect your school. 

Watch the full video interview with Daniel Muijs or skip to a topic of your choice to hear Daniel’s answers.

Interview Chapters: 

Introduction How is Ofsted evolving its relationship with schools? How will the evidence base evolve? CPD: Should it be domain specific? CPD: What makes it effective? CPD: What now for the DfE professional development standard? NQTs: What does the evidence say? Observation: Can Ofsted do more to address concerns? Reflection: The value to teachers and schools What do teachers need to know about the evidence base? What to school leaders need to know about the evidence base?


The Ofsted Framework 2019 changes explained

From September 2019 the Ofsted Framework will  change.  Is this purely cosmetic or is there a real shift in focus? Because, as Amanda Spielman said,  “Ofsted should be a force for improvement”.

When talking about the 2019 Framework, Ofsted have announced:

“... these changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look instead at how schools are achieving these results, and whether they are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep, or simply rich and deep, or simply teaching to the test.” (Ofsted press release)


Why the need for change?

  • Ofsted’s “current model is driving too much workload and much it falls on the shoulders of classroom teachers”
  • Ofsted inspections have placed “too much weight on tests and examination results”
  • Ofsted inspections have not “placed enough emphasis on the curriculum” - and by implication on the broad and balanced curriculum

Amanda Spielman

It would appear that Ofsted has developed a new tone and approach and seeks to develop a new relationship with schools.  A key question will be, of course, whether Ofsted manages to establish a new relationship (or re-establish its historical role of independent experts informing policy) with the DFE and Government!


What has stayed the same in the Ofsted Framework 2019 and what are the key changes?

Ofsted grades will stay the same: Outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate

However, how these grades will be decided upon has changed significantly.

What are the four Ofsted judgements?

The four judgement categories have been completely revised and now cover:

    • Quality of education
    • Behaviour and Attitudes
    • Personal development
    • Leadership and Management


Quality of Education is the key change:

This judgement will have a much clearer focus on the curriculum.  There will be three major components when judging the curriculum:

  • Intent (what are we trying to achieve through our curriculum - it must be broad and balanced and include the essential knowledge that pupils need to become educated citizens.  Note: the Ofsted does not describe what the curriculum should be and schools taking a radically different approach but coherent and research led approach will not be penalised)
  • Implementation (how is our curriculum being delivered)
  • Impact (what difference is the curriculum making - but note this does not imply continuous testing to prove changes).  There will be far less emphasis on school’s internal data as evidence but much greater emphasis on drawing together evidence from interviews, observations, documentary review as well as nationally published information about how pupils progress when they leave school (secondary)  


Behaviour and Attitudes:

The Behaviour and Attitudes judgement considers how leaders and staff create a safe, orderly and positive environment in the school and the impact this has on the behaviour and attitudes of the pupils.

Note: if there is evidence that a school has deliberately removed pupils on the day of the inspection then this is likely to result in inadequate judgement in both Behaviour and Attitudes and Leadership and Management.  Ofsted will also evaluate the effectiveness of alternative and off-site arrangements made for pupils.

In gathering evidence for this judgement, Ofsted will hold discussions with pupils and staff - this will include support staff and other systems - trainees, NQTs, administrative support staff, supply staff and catering staff.


Personal Development:

There is a strong emphasis upon the academic, technical or vocational curriculum and recognises that schools have a fundamental role in developing responsible, respectful and active citizens.  Some of these activities will go beyond the normal school day and include a range of out of school activities. This judgement will include issues such as keeping healthy through diet and physical activity.  It will also evaluate the schools provision for spiritual, moral and social education.

It is clearly noted that from September 2020 schools will, by law, have to follow a new relationships and sex education and health curriculum.


Leadership and management:

This judgement is about how leaders, managers and those responsible for governance ensure that the education provided by the school has a positive impact on all its pupils.  

Leadership and management can be neatly summed up by ‘making stuff work’:

  • Creating a coherent vision - particularly through an appropriate and inclusive curriculum
  • Enabling the staff to deliver that vision by supporting them to develop their skills and knowledge
  • Developing an appropriate management style
  • Creating appropriate systems to enable the vision
  • Ensuring the delivery of the vision

Amongst the ‘important factors’ note is made of:

When a school is part of a MAT, it is recognised that the leadership of the MAT itself has a significant impact upon the quality of education provided in the school.

The role of governors or trustees (in stand alone academies and MATs) will be explored and will be a part of the judgement.

Inspectors will gather evidence about the use of pupil premium.

The impact of external support will be judged in terms of how the school has taken action and the impact of this on the quality of the school’s work.

Inspectors will evaluate how well a school continues to take responsibility for those pupils who attend alternative or off-site provision.

School leaders will also be challenged about ‘Gaming’ - if deliberate gaming is identified the judgement is likely to lead to an unsatisfactory judgement

Safeguarding will not become a grade in itself but the Inspectors will always make written judgement under ‘ Leadership and Management’ - if safeguarding is judged to be inadequate, it is likely to lead to an inadequate Leadership and Management judgement.


Other things to note:

Observations of teaching WILL NOT be graded.

During the transition period, inspectors will not expect schools to meet the criteria for the curriculum straight away.


How can IRIS Connect support schools and teachers for the Ofsted Framework 2019?

Effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) goes beyond the individual and embeds itself within the school to become part of the improvement of the organisation itself: It should be a part of the fabric of school life leading to continuous improvement of the organisation through a process of reflection, knowledge creation, research and collaboration.  

Truly effective teacher CPD does not create onerous tasks for teachers but builds knowledge and enables adaptive teachers to design and refine both practice and curriculum shaped to the needs of pupils and based on ‘what is going on in the classroom’ and how this impacts on outcomes for pupils.

But don’t just take our word for it.  By using video to tap into the expertise of their staff and remove barriers to effective collaboration, Tuxford Academy is successfully engaging staff in Joint Practice Development research across the school, which is winning them awards and helping them maintain their Outstanding status.  Read more about Tuxford Academy’s journey with IRIS Connect, here.

Download our free professional learning resource for school leaders >





Previous Ofsted updates explained...

January 2018

Latest news:

Information from the Department for Education's 'Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy on Ofsted changes

In Chapter 1 of the document under the statement 'We will create a clear and transparent accountability system, which supports headteachers',  the DfE state:
• Formal intervention – including forced academisation – will only ever result from an Ofsted ‘inadequate’ judgement; and
• We are launching a consultation on an Ofsted ‘requires improvement’ judgement becoming the sole trigger for a concrete and straightforward offer of support from September 2019 – replacing the floor and coasting standards. 

Under the heading 'We will work with Ofsted to drive down workload by tackling the 'audit culture' they state the following about the new framework:


...for the first time, this framework will have a clear and active focus on the need to tackle teacher workload. Inspectors will:
• Consider whether teacher workload is unnecessarily high as part of the Leadership and Management judgement;
• Look unfavourably on schools that implement burdensome data collection practices; and
•Not look at any internal assessment data, ending the perception that excessive data needs to be prepared and collated purely to satisfy Ofsted.
To give headteachers confidence that inspections will be consistent on this and on their wider myth-busting work, Ofsted will also be introducing a new hotline for headteachers to report breaches of these specific commitments directly to their central office.
To read the full DfE Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy click here > 


Evidence-informed practice will take centre stage in the new Ofsted inspection framework - update from 12/7/18

At the Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar earlier this year, Daniel Muijs, Head of Research at Ofsted expressed the following: “Being evidence informed is a moral duty for us as a profession... we have quite a large evidence-base now on what works and what doesn’t work. So if we are not using that evidence-base, we are letting down our children and we are letting down the society in which we work”. He also indicated that this will be informing the new inspection framework meaning they will be looking for proof that schools are evidence-based during inspections . A Slideshare by Daniel on this topic was also recently released. 


Ofsted to keep 'outstanding' grades - update from 22/6/2018

Ofsted has decided to keep its "outstanding" grade despite widespread calls for it to be scrapped, chief inspector Amanda Spielman revealed. Removing the top grade could "send the wrong message about aspiration and excellence in the system", she told an education conference this afternoon. She also wants a rule change to allow Ofsted to routinely inspect outstanding schools.

Previous Ofsted updates explained...

November 2017

Short inspections of good schools: maintained schools and academies consultation

  • Where there are serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the standard of education, inspectors will continue to convert short inspections, within 48 hours.
  • When inspectors are not confident that a school is still good, but the standard of education remains acceptable, the short inspection will not convert. Instead, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out the school’s strengths and areas for improvement. A section 5 inspection will take place within one to two years, giving the school time to address any weaknesses; the school’s overall effectiveness judgement of good will stand.  
  • When inspectors have reason to believe that a school may be improving to outstanding, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out the school’s strengths and priorities for further improvement, and confirming that it is still good. A section 5 inspection will then be carried out within one to two years.

Clarification about the attainment of past pupils

  • Attainment of past pupils does not determine inspection outcomes.
  • Past attainment can inform the pre-inspection lines of enquiry.

Inspection data Summary Report (IDSR)

  • The IDSR replaces Ofsted’s Inspection Dashboard. Ofsted’s new IDSR for primary schools was released on 7 November. For secondary schools, release will be in early January, followed by those for 16 to 19 in January.
  • Inspectors in special schools will focus on the data from starting points shown in the IDSR.

Appointment of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in special measures maintained schools

  • Induction of NQTs may not be served in a school which is judged to require special measures.
  • In the absence of monitoring, or where monitoring is delayed, schools can apply to the relevant Ofsted regional director in writing to appoint an NQT. Supporting evidence must also be included.
  • Ofsted can only make a recommendation that academies judged to require special measures should not appoint NQTs.

Schools requesting that inspectors sign declarations

Inspectors are not required to sign a declaration that they had no convictions in the past year and that no one in their household had any conviction either.

Other recent useful publications relevant to inspections:

 You can find more information about all of the changes to Ofsted inspections on the website.


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