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Ofsted rolls out inspection changes

30 September 2011

Inspections of maintained schools will be streamlined from 26 to 4 key areas from January 2012 - pupil achievement, teaching standards, behaviour and school leadership, as set out in the Education BIll.

With teaching and achievement moving to centre stage, there is a clear shift in emphasis away from safeguarding and monitoring children's wellbeing. Whilst schools will no doubt take these responsibilities as seriously as ever, the strain on school resources combined with Ofsted's re-focus could see an inevitable change in priorities that could affect pupil safety.

Ofsted say these changes will enable them to deliver more focus and depth from inspections. To focus on these areas, Ofsted will have to increase the amount of time inspectors spend in classrooms observing the progress pupils make, rather than basing judgements on statistics. The increased classroom observation, coupled with Ofsted plans to allow parents to leave anonymous comments about schools online, means although the framework may be simplified, there is no indication it will be any less stressful for school leaders.

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