Pupil grades and exam results will no longer be the key focus when Ofsted inspectors carry out school inspections in England, it has been revealed.
Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, says that by focusing on performance previously has led to the narrowing of what schools teach.
She added that school inspections had placed too much importance on their exam results.
Headteachers and teachers alike have been arguing that Ofsted’s focus on school league tables and exam data has turned England’s schools into ‘exam factories’.
The Nasuwt’s leader, Chris Keates, said that most teachers will welcome the opportunity to treat teachers as experts and shift the focus of inspection rather than teachers ‘being data managers’.
Ofsted’s changes should ‘not be rushed through’
However, the National Association Headteachers is warning that Ofsted’s changes should ‘not be rushed through’ without consulting with school leaders.
Ms Spielman said: “Ofsted inspections have, for a long-time, looked hard at outcomes and placed too much weight on exam and test results when considering the effectiveness of a school.
“The impact of inspections and performance tables and the consequences that hang on them, has increased the pressure on teachers, school leaders and pupils indirectly to deliver perfect data.”
Ms Spielman says that by focusing too much on exam and test results may leave little time or energy for thinking about other parts of the curriculum.
In a speech, the Ofsted chief executive, said: “We must make sure that, as an inspectorate, we complement rather than intensify performance data.”
Wants ‘children to love teaching too’
She also said that she knew of no teacher that went into the profession to get a perfect Progress 8 score but they had entered teaching because they love to teach and she wants ‘children to love teaching too’.
Ofsted is now going to launch a consultation on what the new inspection categories will be in January with a view to introducing them in September 2019.
The National Association of Headteachers’ deputy leader Nick Brook said that the new approach is long overdue.
He added: “Ofsted’s new framework is to be implemented in less than a year and it’s not left itself enough time for introducing the magnitude of change that is being suggested.
“There’s a risk that not every school will understand and not every inspector may apply it consistently.”
The new inspection framework was revealed by national newspaper in August, with the aim of marking down those skills that are teaching to the test and neglecting the arts in a bid to boost league table positions.