Ofsted: 'Weaker' schools struggling on curriculum

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman warns pupils have experienced a 'Hokey Cokey' education during the pandemic
7th December 2021, 12:07pm
John Roberts

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Ofsted: 'Weaker' schools struggling on curriculum

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/ofsted-weaker-schools-struggling-curriculum
Ofsted have said that weaker schools have struggled to adjust their curriculum after the impact of the Covid pandemic.

"Weaker schools" have struggled to adjust their curriculum following the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, Ofsted has claimed.

In a report published this morning, the inspectorate says that the pandemic has slowed the implementation of curriculum plans and improvements at some schools.

The watchdog has also warned that in weaker schools some teachers did not successfully identify the knowledge that pupils needed to learn and did not pick up on pupils' lack of understanding.


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It says teachers did not always have the subject knowledge required to maximise pupils' learning post-lockdown.

These findings appear in a new annual report for the 2020-21 academic year published by Ofsted today.

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Routine inspection was on hold throughout this period, although Ofsted did resume monitoring inspections in 2021.

Ofsted has said that its summer term inspections showed that "having well-developed curriculum thinking served schools well during the return to school after lockdown, enabling them to flexibly address missed content due to Covid-19 disruptions".

Strong leaders identified gaps caused by the pandemic and prioritised the knowledge that would be most important for pupils as they moved up the school.

However, the report says weaker schools "struggled to make changes to their curriculum effectively".

It continues: "The pandemic slowed the implementation of curriculum plans and improvements.

"In these schools, some teachers did not successfully identify the knowledge that pupils needed to learn and did not pick up on pupils' lack of understanding.

"Teachers did not always have the subject knowledge required to maximise pupils' learning post-lockdown."

In a commentary in the report, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said that, in all phases of education in 2020-21, most children and young people have learned less than they normally would have done.

She said that for many the loss of education, disrupted routines and a lack of physical and other activities led to physical and mental health problems, warning: "Loneliness, boredom and misery became endemic among the young."

She added: "Almost all children felt the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions to some extent. Many of the youngest children had their development and progress hampered, with some even regressing.

"Given the vital importance to children of a good start in life and the learning potential of the youngest children, this must not be overlooked.

"In primary and secondary schools, children struggled with a Hokey Cokey education: in the classroom, at home, separated in bubbles, isolating alone."

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