Matthew Purves report 2019

Ofsted Deputy Director for schools policy

Delegates at the conference were delighted to welcome an Ofsted inspector who was definitely user friendly. Matthew explained that the new Ofsted framework had been introduced to help children gain knowledge rather than go through “mark-scheme hoops”. Teaching to the test had the most negative effect on the most disadvantaged children.

In an ever-changing world schools needed to provide a good foundation of skills and knowledge that could be used in a variety of ways.

Matthew outlined three steps to ensure children are given a good foundation:
1. Identify what knowledge and understanding you want the children to gain. A rich broad curriculum based on the National Curriculum is a good place to start.
2. Work out a plan to achieve the outcomes of point 1. What are the component parts? What order should they be taught etc.
3. Evaluate what knowledge and understanding pupils have attained against expectations. These assessments should help teachers guide and support children’s learning. They should not be used to grade the school.

Matthew explained Ofsted inspectors would meet with Governors without the Head being present. He outlined 3 functions for Governors – Strategic, Finance & Safeguarding. Governors are not expected to inspect the Central Record. Inspectors want to find out how much Governors know about their school. He also encouraged all Governors to attend the feedback at the end of an inspection.

Inspectors wanted to see how quickly behaviour problems were dealt with. For a school to be classed as outstanding the most disadvantaged pupils should benefit the most from the broad curriculum. Ofsted were now good at spotting off-rolling and viewed inclusion as important.

Reports were shorter and written for the parents, although there is a section for school leaders outlining areas in need of improvement. This section details what needs to be done and why, but not how to do it.

Sheila Danson