Has Ofsted really gone off School Data?

The new Ofsted framework states that inspections will not examine any internal school data. But, in practice, what does this mean for schools? Feedback from Staff who have gone through the new framework stated that conversations were not data-centred but did assume you had a good working knowledge of the external data for your school. Data was discussed as an informer to the team’s approach, not as the sword of Damocles it has been. Context was investigated in thorough detail, giving us a chance to tell our story.DAN MORROW - CEO, Woodland Academies Trust However, when you read on, you see that the external data does inform what the deep dives look to see... Instead, the deep dives commenced with immediate observations of staff through learning walks (all accompanied by phase/subject leads) and through hearing children read: the year one children who had not reached GLD, the year twos who had not secured the phonics-screening check, and the year threes not...
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Marginal Gains – Big Journeys begin with Small Steps

Back in 2012, at the heart of London Olympics, Sir Dave Brailsford repeatedly told people of his belief in the marginal gains principle. Speaking to the BBC, he said “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.  There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.” Brailsford believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end up being hugely significant. This principle has guided and driven the cycling team to great heights and Brailsford’s...
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Year 7 Catch-up Premium

How well is your school using the additional funding for pupil premium and Year 7 Catch up? Ofsted will be looking for how you are supporting your new Year 7. The 2019 Ofsted Inspection Handbook says: In evaluating progress in literacy and mathematics, inspectors will take into account the progress of those for whom the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium provides support. [In Outstanding schools,] Governors systematically challenge senior leaders so that the effective deployment of … Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium … secures excellent outcomes for pupils. In Outstanding Schools.. The following quotes are taken from Ofsted Inspection Reports of Outstanding secondary and all-through schools in 2018/19: Leaders use additional funding very effectively for disadvantaged pupils and those in Year 7 who need extra help to catch up with others. … Year 7 pupils who join the school with low starting points are provided with targeted support to improve their reading. Pupils benefit from work that closely matches their abilities and...
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Year 7 Transition QLA – A Flying Start

Why every school can benefit from a good Year 7 Transition Question Level Analysis? We surveyed secondary schools up and down the country asking about Transition. Every school and area has a different way of working but - to help make immediate progress - nothing beats Question Level Analysis. Firstly, your new Year 7 pupils have already taken six standardised tests in May. Why not use them? You can get the analysis from these tests before your pupils have set foot in your school. If you choose, you can then supplement them with additional in-house tests – but in the meantime, you already can be acting on the results of the Transition QLA. These tests can be used as an accurate baseline for your new starters. As Peter Maddock, Head of Maths explained in his article in TES: Three ways to solve the problem of Year 7 maths Wait before you baseline pupils – if you are in a school that routinely...
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Question Level Analysis and the new Ofsted Inspection Framework

How does a Question Level Analysis fit with the new Ofsted Inspection Framework, which will be in use from September 2019 onwards? Draft Ofsted Inspection Handbook The draft Ofsted Inspection Handbook says that: 170. When used effectively, assessment helps pupils to embed knowledge and use it fluently, and assists teachers in producing clear next steps for pupils. …171. Inspectors will therefore evaluate how assessment is used in the school to support the teaching of the curriculum… So therefore, whatever assessment you use has to start with taking an overall view (for example, how many pupils passed or nearly passed), but also at the important topic strands, seeing how the school is doing, and “producing clear next steps for pupils”. Were there questions that your pupils didn’t attempt? Was this significantly higher than the national average? Was this due to deficiencies in exam technique, or does this illustrate gaps in pupils’ knowledge? 172. …The report of the Teacher Workload Advisory Group, ‘Making data work’, recommends that school leaders...
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