Ofsted: Primaries won't get extra time on the three Rs

The breathing room Ofsted is giving schools to develop their curriculum will not apply to the way primaries teach reading, writing or maths

John Roberts

Ofsted's transition period to allow schools to develop their curriculum plans will not include the three Rs in primary school.

The period of grace which Ofsted has promised schools to develop their curriculum plans will not include the way primary schools teach the three Rs, the watchdog has revealed.

The inspectorate is introducing a transition period to allow schools to adjust to their new framework which has an increased emphasis on the curriculum.

However Ofsted has said today that this grace period will not apply to the judgements it makes about the way reading, writing and maths are being taught in primary schools.

Quick read: Ofsted's inspection changes

Background: Schools could get more than a year to develop curriculum plans

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In an inspection update published for schools it said: “Ofsted has been clear for some time that the teaching of reading holds the very highest importance, so if the school’s teaching of reading does not meet the good judgement, the school would not be good. 

“Therefore, in infant, junior, primary and middle schools deemed primary, transition arrangements can only apply to science and the foundation curriculum." 

Ofsted has also revealed that the grace period will only apply to part of the judgement inspectors make about a school’s curriculum.

The inspectorate is introducing a new quality of education judgement in its new framework which will include an increased focused on curriculum.

Inspectors will judge a school’s curriculum on its intent, implementation and impact.

By intent, Ofsted means the content and planning of the school curriculum.

During its transition period, which will last until at least the summer of next year, inspectors will take into account that schools are still developing their curriculum plans.

Ofsted has said that the transition period will only apply to a school’s curriculum intent and will not affect the judgements it makes about how a school’s curriculum is being implemented or the impact it has.

The transition period will also only apply when Ofsted is reaching a good judgement.

Schools will not be given any grace when inspectors are deciding if its quality of education and curriculum is outstanding.

Tes revealed earlier this year that the transition period which Ofsted is giving schools could be extended beyond the first year.

Ofsted said in its inspection update that it had been asked by some leaders about what state of readiness was expected on their curriculum from this month when the new inspections begin.

Tes revealed earlier this week that the NAHT headteachers' union has had a “shocking” number of headteachers who have visited its website over the summer holidays to seek advice about the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Ofsted has committed to keeping the inspection outcomes stable under the new framework – meaning there is not expected to be a significant change in the proportion of schools judged to be good or better under the new framework.


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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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