@HarfordSean’s Message for @OfstedNews Inspectors

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@TeacherToolkit @OfstedNews updates by Ofsted


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This is a message to all inspectors, from @HarfordSean, the National Director for Schools. In this blog, I have highlighted the key components for busy classroom teachers.

This School Inspection Update document issue 2, was released on 11th March 2015. Although much of the content is for school leaders leading on areas of whole-school responsibility, for example 6th form; Progress 8; attendance/exclusions; workload; floor targets; counter-terrorism; PP; eSafety and disqualification, I have highlighted the key components for classroom teachers.

I have read the 9-page summary and have taken excerpts from the marking and the workload challenge sections only.

@TeacherToolkit @OfstedNews updates by Ofsted

Go on, click me.

Marking Myths:

“I also want to take this opportunity to raise the issue of marking. I recognise that marking and feedback to pupils, both written and oral, are important aspects of assessment. However, as inspectors we should not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback; these are for the school to decide through its assessment policy. Marking and feedback should be consistent with that policy, which may cater for different subjects and different age groups of pupils in different ways, in order to promote learning effectively. These activities need to be useful for pupils and sustainable for teachers.

As a result, the clarification document has been amended to reflect this. If it is necessary to identify marking/feedback as an area for improvement for a school, inspectors must pay careful attention to the way recommendations are written to ensure that these do not drive unnecessary workload for teachers.”

Read my solution to A Common-Sense Approach to Marking Workload; featured in The Guardian weekly newsletter here.

Ofsted News

Workload Challenge:

In February 2015, the Department for Education recognised my ‘useful’ Workload Challenge summary for classroom teachers, with this tweet.

The report was 40 pages long and the action plan document was a further 20 pages. My blog, The Workload Challenge Report was a concise summary of the unnecessary and unproductive tasks teachers endure in (and out of) classrooms across England.

Nicky Morgan Workload ChallengeIn the School Inspection Update, published today by Ofsted, it says the following information regarding The Workload Challenge;

“The Workload Challenge consultation, conducted by the DfE between 22 October and 21 November 2014, asked teachers and leaders about ‘unnecessary and unproductive’ workloads within schools. 53% of the sample respondents said that the burden of their workload was created by accountability or perceived pressures of Ofsted. As a result, the following actions for Ofsted have been put forward in the government’s response to the Workload Challenge:

  • Clarification from Ofsted about what is and is not required by inspectors
  • Review of how Ofsted reports are written to avoid creating ‘fads’ in certain practices
  • Shorter Ofsted inspections of good schools from September 2015

Ofsted to consider how to further simplify and shorten the School inspection handbook for September 2016, and continue to work to improve the quality of inspections. In addition, Ofsted has committed not to make substantive changes to the handbook or framework during the academic year, except where changes to statute or statutory guidance make it necessary. The government’s full response to the consultation can be accessed on GOV.UK.”

A notable point highlighted in blue above …

Hurrah for Sean Harford!

You can download the full report here.

Sean Harford Ofsted National Director for Schools
Ofsted’s, Sean Harford

You can also read the following:


4 thoughts on “@HarfordSean’s Message for @OfstedNews Inspectors

  1. Pingback: @HarfordSean’s Message for @OfstedNews Inspectors | Uxbridge College Teaching and Learning

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