Curriculum transition prolonged for a yr

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Girls doing science experiments with test tubes

Sean Harford HMI, Nationwide Director for Schooling, talks about Ofsted’s curriculum transition preparations and pronounces an extension.

Our new framework places the curriculum entrance and centre of inspection. We completely don’t count on faculties to vary their curriculum only for inspection functions. However we’re additionally lifelike. We perceive that some faculties may need to hone or develop their present plans.

Once we launched the framework in September final yr, we wished to be honest to varsities, and provides them sufficient time to craft their curriculum plans. That’s why we introduced that we’d permit a yr’s transition interval – so the faculties which might be making adjustments wouldn’t be penalised in the event that they had been inspected within the meantime. In my September faculty inspection replace, I stated that we’d take inventory of that grace interval, to guarantee that faculties have the time to do what they should do.

We all know that a terrific curriculum doesn’t simply seem completely fashioned in a single day. It takes quite a lot of thought, preparation and work to plan it. I’m additionally conscious, by means of conversations with the Affiliation of College and Faculty Leaders and the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics, that some heads and senior leaders are involved about getting their curriculum to the place they need it to be by this coming September. Some faculties are additional alongside their curriculum journey than others.

We’ve listened to these considerations. So, we’ll be extending the transition interval from one to 2 educational years – taking us by means of to July 2021.

The place will the transition preparations apply?

That is about giving credit score to varsities which might be working arduous to enhance their curriculum. The transition preparations will solely apply when it’s clear {that a} faculty is nicely on the best way with its curriculum journey – however isn’t fairly ‘there’ but. This isn’t an amnesty for faculties the place educating is weak or pupils’ outcomes (together with, however not completely, nationwide checks and examination outcomes) aren’t adequate.

The preparations will solely apply to the descriptors of what beauty like. They don’t apply to excellent and insufficient judgements. Primarily, these are faculties that may in any other case be rated as requires enchancment for the standard of training, as a result of they aren’t as far together with their curriculum planning.

The transitional preparations apply to 4 of the curriculum intent (not ‘influence’ or ‘implementation’) descriptors and are clearly marked within the faculty inspection handbook; they seem in sq. brackets in every of the 4 grade descriptors.

We’ll be taking a look at whether or not faculties have concrete plans for being on their solution to assembly these standards. Our inspectors will look favourably on faculties the place – primarily based on leaders’ actions – the standard of training may fairly be anticipated to be good by September 2021.

I ought to stress that curriculum intent contains the varsity’s curriculum content material and planning, it’s not concerning the faculty’s broad ambitions or imaginative and prescient. It’s not sufficient to have a non-specific plan concerning the future, for instance, telling inspectors that ‘we now have a coaching day concerning the curriculum in a number of months’ time’. Inspectors will need to see that stable growth work is already underway.

Teacher explains something to two pupils

 Wherein circumstances have the transition preparations been utilized thus far?

The circumstances during which we now have used the transition preparations since September are diversified and there’s not a definitive record. What the faculties all have in frequent is that they’re nicely underway with their curriculum planning and it’s doubtless that their curriculum intent will meet the ‘good’ descriptors in a yr or so.

For instance, some leaders are ready to launch a revamped curriculum on the finish of an educational yr, however their planning for his or her redesigned curriculum is on observe or accomplished.

We’ve additionally seen faculties that, by September 2019, had clearly recognized how their key stage 3 curriculum was narrower in ambition than the nationwide curriculum – however had a transparent plan to indicate how they’d broaden it.

We’ve seen different faculties the place the curriculum for many topics is working completely nicely already and doesn’t want to vary – however leaders are working diligently on the curriculum in a single or two primary topics. Once more, that is acceptable, and we now have due to this fact utilized the transition preparations.

What’s going to inspectors be taking a look at?

The handbook units out what inspectors will probably be taking a look at with regards to nice curriculum intent. However with regards to the transition interval, the actions that leaders are taking to result in change are all-important. Among the hallmarks are:

  • broadening the curriculum to guarantee that it’s not less than as broad, deep and impressive because the nationwide curriculum
  • figuring out what pupils ought to know and be capable to do by the tip of every key stage/yr group/time period
  • utilizing evaluation to handle gaps in pupils’ data
  • figuring out the essential data in every topic or key stage
  • contemplating and planning how data ought to be sequenced
  • already taking over an acceptable, efficient manner of educating studying

I hope that the extension to the transition interval reassures these of you who had been involved concerning the tempo of change.

We do recognize that the EIF is a shift in focus and for some faculties will probably be an even bigger change than in others. However, I firmly imagine that it’s the best strategy, and I do know that many lecturers and faculty leaders agree. Bringing inspection again to the basics of training – what’s taught and the way – is unquestionably excellent news for educators, in addition to pupils.

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