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Ofsted reveals launch date for inspection consultation

Senior director urges schools to take part in 12-week consultation on its plans for new framework

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Senior director urges schools to take part in 12-week consultation on its plans for new framework

Ofsted's long-awaited consultation on plans to overhaul the school inspection regime will be launched on 16 January, the inspectorate has revealed.

Those wishing to have their say will then have 12 weeks to give their views on the proposed new framework.

The new system, which is set to be used to inspect schools from September 2019, will place greater emphasis on the school curriculum and give less weight to school exam scores.

However, the overhaul has proved controversial, with the NAHT heads' union urging Ofsted to pause its plans amid concerns about the workload it will create and questions about whether Ofsted has given itself enough time to bring about such a major change.

Ofsted’s national director of education Sean Harford used Twitter to urge people to take part in the consultation.

The inspectorate is planning to replace the teaching, learning and assessment and the outcomes for pupils categories with a new quality of education grade.

Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman has previously described Ofsted’s plans as  a “warning shot across the bows” for schools who are getting good results without delivering a good education.

Ofsted is set to downgrade the importance of exam results in future inspection judgements in favour of a broader assessment of the quality of education a school provides.

The head of the inspectorate has said that in the past it has placed too much weight on exam results and not given enough importance to the school curriculum.

Tes has also revealed that Ofsted is considering giving schools little more than 150 minutes notice after contacting a school for inspectors to arrive to prepare for formal inspection starting the next day.

Tes understands that a draft inspection handbook for the new framework has said inspectors will call a school before 10am and arrive after 12.30pm the same day for a pre-inspection meeting.

This follows Ofsted revealing that it wanted to trial no-notice inspections and also wanted to be able to give inspectors more time in schools.

Earlier this month Ofsted produced a series of videos outlining its plans for the new framework.

Matthew Purves, the inspectorate's deputy director for schools has said that under the new inspection regime Ofsted is proposing that inspectors will not looking at school’s own internal data.

He warned that the schools and Ofsted cannot be confident that the information is reliable and said that preparing this data took teachers away from the job of educating pupils.

Ofsted is still proposing to give schools an overall inspection judgement and is not proposing to change the four categories a school is placed in: outstanding; good; requires improvement and inadequate.

Ms Spielman said earlier this month that Ofsted was not looking to downgrade a vast number of schools with its new inspection regime.

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