Yet another version of the OFSTED framework hits the presses this week in time for a January 2012 start. Those of us who began inspecting schools in 1993 just cannot believe how many revisions have been necessary. Why ? has each been so flawed? If so, there must be something wrong in the system. Unsurprising then that so many feel that they are unsure what is expected. Those of you who have followed the recent transformations in the framework will have noticed the move towards evaluating learning, rather than teaching. The new framework has just 4 main categories, one of which is TEACHING. There is no separate category for evaluating the quality of learning. So, take a deep breath, count to ten and transport yourself back a decade. You will find much in common with the current, draft framework. There are the usual nuanced tweaks in terms of what constitutes outstanding teaching, but what is significant is the list of criteria for judging the quality of teaching. interesting because so predictable. There are eleven in all, your usual suspects:
high expectations, teaching of core skills, well-judged and strategies which engage, challenging task matched to pupils’ abilities, effective questioning and use of discussion, monitoring during lessons, motivating, developing subject knowledge ans skills including skills to learn, and taking into account the needs of a variety of learners.
In terms of history teaching the only interesting detail I could find was in relation to standards. Achievement is likely to be judged inadequate if ANY of 7 criteria are not met. One of these is ‘learning and progress in any key subject’. You will interested to read that the definition includes” ..any specialist school subject and/or GCSE subjects with very high levels of entry.
How many headteachers will now be quite so keen to allow students the choice of opting for a popular but under-performing subject. You may not think they exist. They do. With EBacc history there may be more! Watch this space and let OFSTED know what you think about their latest attempt to get inspection right.
Just go to http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/common-inspection-framework-2012
here to access the documents in full.