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Ofsted & free schools: Lessons learnt so far Updated 6 th June 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Ofsted & free schools: Lessons learnt so far Updated 6 th June 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ofsted & free schools: Lessons learnt so far Updated 6 th June 2014

2 2 1. The basics 2. How are free schools performing? 3. Lessons learnt so far 4. Ofsted and innovation 5. Questions? Agenda

3 1. Free Schools & Ofsted: the basics Free schools are: Inspected under the same framework as other similar types of schools: ‘Section 5’ for mainstream, special and AP free schools ‘Common Inspection Framework for further education and skills’ for free schools Inspected within 2 years of opening, from term 5 onwards Inspections led (usually) by a HMI

4 4 1. The basics 2. How are free schools performing? 3. Lessons learnt so far 4. Ofsted and innovation 5. Questions? Agenda

5 2. How are free schools performing? Of the reports published so far:

6 2. How are free schools performing? Quality of teaching Quality of leadership and managementAchievement Behaviour and safety

7 7 1. The basics 2. How are free schools performing? 3. Lessons learnt so far 4. Ofsted and innovation 5. Questions? Agenda

8 Lessons learnt so far: Achievement Issues: Particular focus on pupils’ work/books as a source of evidence Particular focus on founding cohort / core subjects Quality/robustness of the systems used to record pupil progress ‘Outstanding’ progress not being seen as such by inspectors What works: Setting your own baselines for progress Externally and internally moderating your assessments about pupil progress Knowing your pupil ‘groups’ Providing your own evidence about other types of achievement

9 Lessons learnt so far: Quality of teaching Issues: SLT overly optimistic about the quality of teaching Lack of focus from the school on the impact teaching is having Use of data to inform teaching/planning The number of lessons/teachers seen by inspectors Integration of part time/sessional staff What works: Moderating your own judgements about the quality of teaching Providing your own evidence about the quality of teaching Providing evidence about the impact of interventions to improve teaching Demonstrating how quality of teaching links to performance management

10 Lessons learnt so far: Leadership and management Issues: SLT judgements about the school Quality of middle leadership Transition from the independent sector Sharpness of action planning Governors’ awareness of how discretionary funding is being spent in the school – e.g. pupil premium What works: Moderating your own judgements about the school Governors ‘knowing’ the school and demonstrating active involvement in it Demonstrating how leadership is being distributed through the school and your plans to develop this Seeking external input to support leadership

11 Lessons learnt so far: Behaviour and safety Issues: Quality of safeguarding Suitability of policies Records of behaviour Attendance What works: Recording and evaluating the impact of your strategies to improve behaviour/attendance Ensuring policies are tailored to your school (if in a MAT)

12 Lessons learnt so far: Other top tips Provide professional challenge to the judgements inspectors are making about your school, especially on: Inspectors’ willingness/ability to understand your Free School’s ethos/focus What defines ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ achievement References to teaching style Be pro-active in helping inspectors to: Fully understand your school Set the agenda for the inspection Find the evidence they need Invest in a mock inspection Use the support of DfE Education Advisers Use NSN’s guidance and resources

13 13 1. The basics 2. How are free schools performing? 3. Lessons learnt so far 4. Ofsted and innovation 5. Questions? Agenda

14 Innovation in Free Schools: Ofsted 14 Ofsted have been open minded about the use of innovation in Free Schools. Reports only focus on it where it has an impact on the school. Where innovation has been shown to be improving pupil outcomes, Ofsted have praised this: Steiner Academy Frome Rainbow Primary Reach Academy Feltham However, they have also been critical of the use of innovation where it has not led to improved outcomes: King’s Science Academy Al-Madinah School Greenwich Free School

15 15 1. The basics 2. How are free schools performing? 3. Lessons learnt so far 4. Ofsted and innovation 5. Questions? Agenda


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