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Changes to Ofsted inspection requirements from September 2016

The changes to the various Ofsted documents are minimal this time round. The Section 5 and Section 8 School inspection handbooks have been re-issued and schools must now comply with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ which was issued last term.

The changes to the handbooks include:

  • information about online surveys of staff and pupils
  • changes to the ‘outcomes’ grade descriptors to take account of the changes to assessment and accountability
  • changes to governor involvement in inspection, to take account of, for example, local governing bodies in multi-academy trusts

In addition:

  • schools judged to be good at inspection since September 2015, may now go into their fourth year before re-inspection

In ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’:

  • staff are now required not only to sign to say that they have read the various safeguarding policies but that they understand the implications for them in their work
  • there must be at least annual updates for staff on safeguarding and child protection
  • there is a specific reference to the need for on-line safety

Other aspects

  • there is a new assessment tool for pupils who speak English as an additional language
  • the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will remain statutory for at least another year
  • from 1st September, all governors must be subject to an enhanced DBS check

From 3rd October to 25th November 2016, all schools inspected will be asked questions about admissions and attendance.

Helen Jones
Senior School Effectiveness Adviser
Herts for Learning
September 2016

For support and advice on school inspection please contact your Hertfordshire Improvement Partner (HIP) on 01438 845111.

Child Protection Policy update

If your governing Body has yet to ratify your new child protection policy, which will include the new requirements of Keeping Children Safe… as in the recently published updated Child Protection Policy for Hertfordshire schools, you should add a water mark which says ‘Draft Policy meets new requirements. Policy to be ratified by governors on [add date].

Update on PREVENT and Ofsted inspections

Are you sure that you are fully compliant with the PREVENT duty and will meet Ofsted’s expectations? It is vital that schools and early years settings, including childminders, have ensured that they have accessed adequate training on anti-radicalisation and have subsequently put a strategy in place as part of their safeguarding. Although the legal minimum is that one member of staff has been WRAP trained (DfE 2015), Ofsted inspectors are applying higher expectations.

On inspection schools have been asked to say how many staff have accessed the official WRAP training and to provide information about the further dissemination that has occurred with other staff. You must ensure all your staff are able to answer basic questions on radicalisation and what they would do if they had a concern. (Notice, Check, Share)

Hertfordshire County Council is continuing to provide, at no cost, opportunities for school staff and governors (at least 2 is recommended), staff in other early years settings and childminders to access places at WRAP sessions in HDC throughout academic year 2016/17. Three slots are available (10.30-12.00, 1.30-3.00 and 6.00-7.30) on each of the following dates: 24 November 2016, 26 January 2017, 16 March 2017, 26 April 2017, 16 June 2017. Places are allocated as always on a first come, first served basis, so don’t delay. No additional centrally run slots will be provided this year.

Alternatively, to arrange school-based whole staff training from HfL, which incurs a minimum fee, contact darren.nottingham@hertsforlearning.co.uk in the first instance.

Please be aware that in order to comply with HCC’s PREVENT duties and Ofsted LA inspection requirements, schools may be contacted directly and requested to confirm that they have accessed WRAP training.

For schools developing their implementation strategy, HfL are providing further training on March 27th 2017 with separate primary and secondary sessions on ‘Tackling and Preventing Extremism in the Curriculum’.