Key points from OFSTED’s briefing on 2nd February 2022

Do leaders of a subject need to be specialists?

In primary schools, particularly small ones, we know that staff wear lots of hats. In small schools, it may be the headteacher who oversees all subjects. It often isn’t possible or realistic to develop detailed expertise in multiple subject areas – neither do we expect you to. What is important is that, as a collective, staff give careful thought to the content they want pupils to be taught and to remember.

To overcome the challenges of expertise in multiple curriculum areas, lots of schools work with other local schools to design their curriculum. Schools also make use of schemes of work that are developed by subject specialists. Ofsted does not consider it necessary for schools to design their curriculums themselves. Whatever it is you do, it hasn’t got to be all singing and dancing. Your curriculum just needs to be ambitious and coherent.

What about small primary schools?

Our inspectors will be aware of the impact of an inspection visit on teachers in a small school. Right from the first contact with the school, our lead inspectors will work with the headteacher to organise the inspection to manage the demands on

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