Graded lesson observations will be scrapped from Ofsted inspections from September, the watchdog has confirmed. Ofsted ended the practice in school inspections last year, but retained them in the FE sector pending the results of pilots of ungraded observations. A spokesman for the inspectorate said: "In response to our findings, we have taken the decision to no longer grade the quality of teaching in individual learning sessions. This change will be reflected in Ofsted's new handbook for the inspection of FE and skills, which we will publish before the end of the summer term." The news was welcomed by the University and College Union. "UCU has long argued that graded lesson observation is a box-ticking exercise that piles the pressure on staff but ultimately is of no discernible benefit," said Sally Hunt, the union's general secretary.
School apprenticeship campaign takes off
More than 300 schools in England have signed up to a countrywide apprenticeships programme in the space of a month. The National School Apprenticeships campaign One by 2020 is calling for every primary and secondary school to have at least one apprentice by the end of the decade. A range of roles are available, from teaching assistants to business administration and facilities management. The NSA has urged schools to register their interest before the end of June so that they can advertise apprenticeship vacancies in time for school-leavers to apply in July. More than 3,000 schools joined the NSA in 2014-15. Find out more at schoolapprenticeships.co.uk
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