Exclusive: Ofsted set to scrap teaching and learning grade

Inspectorate was also discussing ending overall effectiveness grade for schools but has now dropped the idea

John Roberts

Teaching and learning grade could go in Ofsted shake up

Ofsted is planning to remove the teaching and learning grade from future school inspection grades, Tes can reveal.

The watchdog was also considering an even more dramatic change to its inspection framework with the end of the overall effectiveness grade for schools.

But Tes understands this idea has now been dropped because of the importance of the overall school judgement to both parents and government.

However, the teaching, learning and assessment rating that schools are currently given is to be combined with the pupil outcomes grade and replaced with a new quality of education category.

It was reported earlier this week that Ofsted plans to downgrade the use of exam results as a measure of school quality.

A source said the change was being made because children needed to a get “a rich education”.

Tes understands that the teaching and learning grade for schools will also be replaced as part of this proposed change.

Ofsted currently gives an overall grade for schools and four individual judgements on the effectiveness of leadership and management; the quality of teaching, learning and assessment; pupils' personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils.

Under the new framework, Ofsted is expected to introduce a new quality of education grade in an attempt to look beyond a school’s exam results.

The reported move from Ofsted comes after Amanda Spielman, chief inspector, chose to commission research into how schools implement the curriculum as her first priority after taking the job in 2017.

The findings, published in October 2017, reported that preparing for tests was cutting into children’s learning time.

The source said: “The culture of cramming children has to stop. Children getting a rich education is better than false assurances that standards are always rising in exam league tables."

However, the Department for Education’s response has raised questions about whether the department supports this change in approach.

A DfE spokesperson said: "We do not comment on speculation. Exams and assessments have always been one of several measures to judge a school's performance and this will continue. 

"All children should have a broad, balanced and rounded education. We have always made this clear and the Ofsted inspection framework already ‎requires schools to demonstrate this.

"Our exams are on par with the world's best education systems and will ensure young people have the knowledge and skills businesses tell us they need from their future employees.”

Ofsted said yesterday that it did not comment on leaked reports.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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