OFSTED monthly update

This month OFSTED have produced some articles to give guidance on how to achieve good when inspectors visit.

They suggest that the headteacher must ensure the vision is communicated to all staff and with that they all believed that all pupils can achieve regardless of background and changed the curriculum so that it met the needs of all pupils.

Communicating the vision

1.            It was primarily the headteachers who drove improvement in the schools visited in this survey. Of the 12 schools visited, 11 had appointed a new headteacher no more than two years prior to the previous inspection where the school was judged satisfactory. There were some strong shared themes in their vision for improving their schools. They:

n      insisted that all pupils could achieve highly regardless of background

n      established a non-negotiable requirement for good teaching; satisfactory teaching was not good enough

n      accepted nothing less than good behaviour from pupils

n      expected teachers and leaders to improve their work and to be responsible for their own development

changed the curriculum so that it met the needs of all pupils.

 

OFSTED have also produced a report about the Pupil premium

Key findings

n      Only one in 10 school leaders said that the Pupil Premium had significantly changed the way that they supported pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

n      School leaders commonly said that they were using the funding to maintain or enhance existing provision rather than to put in place new initiatives.

n      Schools did not routinely disaggregate the Pupil Premium funding from their main budget, especially when receiving smaller amounts.

n      Over two fifths of the schools had used the Pupil Premium at least in part to fund new or existing teaching assistants and over one quarter to fund new or existing teachers. To a lesser degree, schools had used the funding to pay for new or existing parent support workers, behaviour support workers or counsellors.

n      Around a third of school leaders said that they had used the funding for additional curriculum opportunities for pupils both within and outside of normal school hours. A third of all schools said that they had used the funding to subsidise or pay for educational trips or residential visits. Around one in six said that they had used the funding to subsidise or pay for uniform and equipment.

n      In some schools it was clear to inspectors that the spending was not all focused on the needs of the specific groups for whom it was intended.

n      The survey revealed a lack of transparency in the way that some special schools and pupil referral units received their allocation of Pupil Premium money from their local authority.

n      Inspectors saw little evidence of a strong focus on the Pupil Premium by governors or managing committees.

n      Just over two fifths of the mainstream secondary school leaders who responded to the telephone survey said that they were involved in the Pupil Premium summer school programme. Very few mainstream primary schools said that they were involved in the Pupil Premium summer school programme.

n      Very few schools said the Pupil Premium was having any impact on their approach to admissions or exclusions.[1]


[1] The School Admissions Code, published in November 2011 and effective from February 2012, permits academies and free schools to give priority in admissions to pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium. School Admissions Code, Department for Education, 2012, p.10; www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schooladmissions/a00195/current-codes-and-regulations http://www.education.gov.uk.

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