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The five changes to Ofsted you need to know for the 2022/23 academic year

/ Rory Haynes

The Education Inspection Framework (EIF) is getting a facelift. 

Introduced by Ofsted in 2019, the EIF forms the foundations of inspection across the following establishments: 

  • maintained schools 
  • academies 
  • non-association independent schools 
  • further education providers 
  • registered early years provisions  

For those of you awaiting the phone call in the upcoming year, here are the top five changes you need to know for the 2022/23 academic year. 

Ofsted’s latest updates

Curriculum grace period ends  

When the EIF was launched, a grace period allowed schools the opportunity to introduce the new national curriculum at their own pace.  

Schools could still be awarded ‘Good’ in their inspections, even if they had not fully transitioned to the revised programme.  

If the provider could show their intention to implement the new curriculum and the rest of the inspection criteria were met, Good was possible.  

With Ofsted’s latest updates, the grace period has ended. To achieve top marks in 2022, the curriculum must be in line with everything else to receive the desired grading.  

Name changes 

While the status quo has remained the same for the majority of inspection categories, sections five and eight have had their names changed: 

Full Section Five Inspections will now be referred to as ‘Graded Inspections’ 

Shorter Section Eight Inspections of Good or Outstanding schools will now be known as ‘Ungraded Inspections’ 

In terms of their contents, it’s as you were from Ofsted. This change was made simply to provide clarity to the education community.  

Moving on from the pandemic 

Ofsted have acknowledged that the pandemic is still influencing processes across education.  

Ofsted National Director, Chris Russell, stated that ‘conversations between leaders and the lead inspector will continue to include a discussion on the impact of COVID-19.’ 

However, education providers are encouraged to move away from emergency response mode. Instead, focus should be aimed on rebalancing their provision to pre-pandemic norms. 

EYFS changes 

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) has gained a new section as part of the EIF changes. Part 3 has been introduced to provide guidance on how to apply the framework in specific contexts. 

The addition gives clarity on inspection requirements for childminders and those in out-of-school settings.  

This change was made after feedback was received from the education community. To answer questions and give further instruction on Part 3 (as well as Parts 1 and 2), Ofsted have created a series of slides. These helpful how-tos span assessment, curriculum maps and early reading guidance.  

Predecessor judgements 

Another new section introduced concerns ‘new schools’.  

This highlights that if a school changes their URN (Unique Reference Number), it ‘legally becomes a new school and judgements of the predecessor school are not those of the new school’. 

So, if a maintained school has recently become an academy, inspectors might look at the performance of the school in its previous iteration. Crucially, though, this should not form the sole basis for new judgements. 

Ofsted have acknowledged that the pandemic is still influencing processes across education

Summary 

These five key changes form part of a wider strategy designed by Ofsted which focuses on work in the early years to give children the ‘best start in life.’ 

Along with the supplementary documentation for Part 3 of the EYFS inspection category, Ofsted have provided access to a host of webinars. These webinars are designed to answer questions about the EIF changes and address any common misconceptions or questions.   

While there may not be wholesale changes for the 2022/23 academic year, when the inspector calls, you’ll know what’s changed! 

How Bromcom can help 

Bromcom provide intuitive dashboards across key focus areas for Ofsted inspectors. Use the dashboards to display school performance with clarity on both the macro and micro details. 

Whether it’s a drill down into individual attendance or a whole-school behaviour overview, this can all be achieved in our award-winning MIS.  

To find out more, get in touch with our team. They can highlight how our cloud-based platform can improve your processes and outcomes, propelling you to the Ofsted grade you want. 

/ Rory Haynes