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Sir Michael Wilshaw to unveil new inspection regime

15th June 2015

Ofsted’s new inspection regime is expected to be laid out by chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw in a major speech tomorrow.

It will include plans to introduce a common inspection framework for all providers, with shorter, more frequent inspections. Sir Michael is also expected to spell out the latest in the watchdog’s efforts to bring all inspectors in-house.

From September, schools and FE colleges previously judged “good” will be visited every three years to spot any signs of decline. At present, good schools are often only visited every five years, and every six years in the further education sector.

Around two-thirds (68 per cent) of respondents backed the proposed changes in a consultation published back in February.

The watchdog scrapped plans to give schools’ curricula a separate grade, opting instead to keep curriculum under the “effectiveness of leadership and management” judgement.

Inspectors will, however, “place a greater emphasis on the breadth and suitability of the curriculum and the type and range of courses and opportunities offered by providers.”

Ofsted’s inspectors will also face tougher consequences for giving poor judgements under the new plans.

The enormity of the task faced by the inspectorate to convince heads and their staff that the changes will be meaningful was underlined earlier this week.

Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School in Suffolk, wrote a widely shared TES blog post quoting heads and even an HMI about their disillusionment and despair with Ofsted.

In its manifesto, the Conservative Party stated it would “reduce the burden” of Ofsted inspections on schools, as heads and teachers highlighted the watchdog as one of the biggest contributors to the profession’s excessive workload.

Read more on the TES website