Ofsted starts subject reviews with maths and languages

Inspectorate will use data gathered by inspectors on 'deep dives' to produce new thematic subject reviews

Prof Daniel Muijs has outlined plans to carry out subject reviews in maths and languages.

Ofsted's reintroduction of thematic subject reviews will be "state of the nation" looks into teaching in maths and languages, it has been revealed

The reviews will be using data gathered by inspectors from "deep dives" into these subjects during school inspections.

Daniel Muijs, Ofsted’s deputy director for research and evaluation said the thematic subject reviews would be the the inspectorate’s "biggest programme of new research".


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"For this, we will be using data from inspection deep dives to look at the state of the nation in different subject areas across key stages," he said.

"The first subjects we will be researching will be mathematics and languages. 

The plan for Ofsted to return to producing thematic subject reviews was first announced by chief inspector Amanda Spielman last year.

Ms Spielman told the Association of School and College Leaders conference, in Birmingham last year, that she hoped these reviews would start "thoughtful debate informed by evidence."

The deep dives are a key part of Ofsted’s new curriculum focussed school inspections which see its inspection teams focus on particular subjects at a school as part of the assessment it makes about a school’s quality of education.

Tes revealed last year that Ofsted was looking to recruit expert school staff to help improve the subject knowledge of its inspection teams under its new framework.

The inspectorate has been looking for nationally renowned teachers or leaders to take on new lead roles in early maths, early reading, English, geography, maths, modern foreign languages, music, religious education and science.

Ofsted has faced criticism for having inspection teams carrying out “deep dives” into subjects in which they are not specialists since the new framework was launched.

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