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The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) has now released the draft for its Education Inspection Framework for 2019. The new framework has been developed in a bid to shift the focus of evaluation from performance data to the quality and substance of education provided by each setting.

What are the key changes for Early Years professionals?

1. New judgement on ‘The Quality of Education’

Ofsted will now include ‘The quality of education’ as one of the judgements (areas of assessment) in their evaluation schedule. This will replace the former ‘Quality of teaching, learning and assessment’, which - as Ofsted admits - was overly reliant on outcomes and supporting data.

This change is expected to widen the scope of the ‘quality’ judgement and bring in the missing element of ‘curriculum’ into the picture.  Instead of taking outcomes and test data at face value, the new judgement should be able to provide a fairer assessment by basing the evaluation on teaching and the delivery of each centre’s chosen curriculum.

In short, it will now be the intent, implementation and impact of teaching and curriculum that will take centre stage for evaluating a centre's quality of education.

Some of the areas that the inspectors would consider will include:

  • How well you provide assurance that the intentions of your setting’s curriculum (educational programmes) are met and it’s sufficiently challenging for the children
  • How well you use additional funding such as the Early Years Pupil Premium (where applicable) and keep track of its impact on the outcomes of disadvantaged children
  • How well the practitioners at your setting ensure that the content, sequencing and progression in different areas of learning are secured and if they demand enough of children
  • How well staff encourage children to explore and solve problems
  • How well staff support children to recognise and respond to their own physical needs
  • How well the provider’s curriculum prepares children for their next stage

All judgements will, however, continue to be evaluated under the four-point scale for judgement (Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, Inadequate).

2. Outcomes will no longer be treated as a standalone judgement

‘Outcomes for children’ will no longer be treated as a separate judgement, but only in the context of what is being taught as part of each centre's curriculum. Now, would that mean each centre will need to revamp its curriculum to meet the new requirements?

No, says, Ofsted Chief, Amanda Spielman. There isn’t and won’t be an Ofsted curriculum. Centres can adopt different curriculum models that can be implemented effectively to meet the development and learning requirements of the children. However, the EYFS will remain the curriculum framework.

3. Separate Judgements for ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ and ‘Personal Development’

'Behaviour and attitude' will be separated from ‘personal development’ and treated as a separate judgement. However, Gill Jones, Deputy Director, Ofsted Early Years clarifies that the method of evaluating the two areas will not change. Separating the two judgements is only to ensure enhanced focus and more transparent reporting in both the areas.

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What is expected from Out of School Providers

Unlike nurseries and preschools, out of school providers (including childminders) are not expected to meet the learning and development requirements for children. That is, out of school providers are only required to meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements meted out in the EYFS.

Have your say

Ofsted is now inviting childcare providers to share feedback on the draft framework to refine the proposal before publishing the final draft in September. Remember to have your say by responding to the online consultation form here.


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