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									The new Ofsted Framework and Implications for the SENCO

A revised Ofsted framework will be introduced from September 2012. The framework is
available from the Ofsted website and provides outline guidance and grade descriptors for
the judgements that inspectors will report on when inspecting schools under section 5 of
the Education Act 2005.

The key features of the revised framework are:

      to focus sharply on those aspects of schools’ work that have the greatest impact on
       raising achievement
      the engagement of headteachers, school staff and governors as well as seeking the
       views of parents, pupils and staff.
      to focus in more depth on
            the achievement of pupils in the school
            the quality of teaching in the school
            the behaviour and safety of pupils in the school
            the quality of leadership and management of the school

       as well as considering:

          the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school
          the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the
           range of pupils at the school, and in particular the needs of:
            pupils who have a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010
            pupils who have special educational needs.

Under this new framework:

      schools cannot be judged ‘outstanding’ for overall effectiveness unless they have
       ‘outstanding’ teaching
      an acceptable standard of education is defined as a ‘good’ standard of education
      a school that is not yet ‘good’, but that is not judged ‘inadequate’, is a school that
       ‘requires improvement’
      a school that is ‘inadequate’ overall and that requires significant improvement, but
       where the leadership and management are not ’inadequate’, is a school with
       ‘serious weaknesses’
      a school that is ‘inadequate’ overall, and where leadership and management are
       also ‘inadequate’, is a school requiring special measures
      schools that are judged as ‘requires improvement’ will normally be monitored and
       re-inspected within a period of two years
      if a school is judged as ‘requires improvement’ at two consecutive inspections and
       is still not ‘good’ at a third inspection, it is likely to be deemed ‘inadequate’ and to
       require ‘special measures’
      inspectors will normally contact the school by telephone during the afternoon of the
       working day prior to the start of the inspection
      inspectors will evaluate the robustness of performance management arrangements,
       and consider whether there is an appropriate correlation between the quality of
       teaching in a school and the salary progression of the school’s teachers.

Achievement of pupils in the school

This judgement deals with academic achievement. Inspectors will have regard both for
pupils’ progress and for their attainment by taking account of their starting point and age.
Particular consideration will be given to the progress of the lowest attaining pupils.

Inspectors will take account of:

      the learning and progress of different groups of pupils currently on the roll of the
       school, including disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs
       and for those for whom pupil premium provides support
      pupils’ progress in the last three years including those from vulnerable groups (LAC
       and SEND)
      pupils’ attainment in relation to national standards (where available) compared with
       other schools, based on data over the last three years. They will note any evidence
       of performance significantly above or below national averages, trends of
       improvement or decline and inspection evidence of current pupils’ attainment using
       a range of indicators.
The quality of teaching

The most important purpose of teaching is to promote learning and to raise pupils’
achievement. It is also important in promoting their spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development. Teaching should be understood to include teachers’ planning and
implementing learning activities, including the setting of appropriate homework, as well as
marking, assessment and feedback. This judgement must take account of evidence of
pupils’ learning and progress over time. Inspectors will consider the extent to which the
‘Teachers’ Standards’ are being met and will evaluate the use that is made of teaching

Inspectors will consider whether:

      work is challenging enough for all pupils and meets their individual needs
      pupils’ responses demonstrate sufficient gains in their knowledge, skills and
       understanding, including in literacy and mathematics
      teachers monitor pupils’ progress in lessons and use information well to adapt their
      teachers use questioning and discussion to assess the effectiveness of their
       teaching and promote pupils’ learning
      pupils understand well how to improve their work.

Inspectors’ direct observation will be supplemented by:

      evidence arising from observations of lessons carried out by senior staff
      discussions with pupils about the work they have undertaken and their experience
       of teaching and learning over longer periods
      discussion about teaching and learning with teachers, teaching assistants and other
      the views of pupils, parents and staff
      scrutiny of pupils’ work with particular attention given to how well and frequently
       marking, assessment and testing are used to help teachers improve pupils’
       learning, the level of challenge provided and pupils effort and success in completing
       work and the progress they make over time.
Behaviour and safety of pupils

This judgement takes account of a range of evidence about behaviour and safety over an
extended period. This evidence may contribute to inspectors’ evaluation of how well the
school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Inspectors will
also consider the behaviour and safety of pupils attending off-site, alternative provision.

Inspectors will consider:

      pupils’ attitudes to learning
      pupils’ behaviour in arrange of different teaching groups and settings and their
       attitudes to staff, including support and administrative staff, new and inexperienced
       staff and supply teachers
      the school’s analysis of, and response to, pupils’ behaviour in lessons over time,
       including incident logs and records of rewards and sanctions
      the rates and patterns of permanent and fixed period exclusions, including those for
       different groups of pupils. They will also consider the impact on behaviour of fixed-
       period exclusions, the impact of the school’s work to follow up and support
       excluded pupils and the use and impact of internal exclusion. Inspectors will also
       ascertain the typical behaviour of any pupils not in school during the inspection
      pupils’ respect for, courtesy and good manners towards each other and adults, and
       pride in themselves and their school
      the types, rates and patterns of bullying and the effectiveness of the school’s
       actions to prevent and tackle any forms of bullying and harassment. This will
       include cyber-bullying and prejudice – based bullying related to special educational
       need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or
      the effectiveness of the school’s actions to tackle discriminatory or derogatory
       language – this includes homophobic and racist language, and language that is
       derogatory about disabled people
      the views expressed by pupils, and different groups of pupils, of their experiences
       of others’ behaviour and attitudes towards them
      the views of parents, staff, governors and others
      the extent to which pupils are able to understand and respond to risk
      the school’s response to extremist behaviour shown by pupils
      overall and persistent absence and attendance rates for different groups
      punctuality over time in arriving at school and at lessons and the impact of the
       school’s strategies to improve behaviour and attendance
      the number of pupils taken off roll in the last year as a result of factors related to
       behaviour, safety and attendance.
The quality of leadership and management of the school

Inspection examines the impact of all leaders, including those responsible for governance,
and evaluates how efficiently and effectively the school is managed. In particular,
inspection focuses on how effectively leadership and management at all levels promote
improved teaching, as judged within the context of the school, and enable all pupils to
overcome specific barriers to learning.

Inspectors will consider:

      how well leaders, managers and governors pursue excellence, modelling
       professional standards in all of their work
      the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation and the extent to which it is shared
       with governors
      the robustness of performance management and effectiveness of strategies for
       improving teaching, including the extent to which the school takes account of the
       ‘Teachers’ Standards’
      how well leaders and managers ensure the curriculum is broad and balanced and
       meets the needs, aptitudes and interest of pupils and focuses on the necessary
       priorities for ensuring all pupils make excellent progress in reading, writing and
      how well leaders and managers demonstrate the capacity to bring about further
      the effectiveness of governance
      how well the school’s strategies and procedures, including the provision of
       appropriate guidance, help pupils to prepare for life in modern democratic Britain
       and a global society, and to prevent extremist behaviour
      how effectively the school promotes the confidence and engagement of parents
       and works in partnership with other schools, external agencies and the community,
       including business, to improve the school, extend the curriculum and increase the
       range and quality of learning opportunities for pupils
      the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements to ensure that there is safe
       recruitment and that all pupils are safe.
Implications for the SENCO

The emphasis within the evaluation schedule is very clearly targeted at those pupils who
are underachieving and who are not making the expected progress. These may be pupils
who have an identified special educational need and/or disability but they may well be a
significant group within a school who are not receiving the targeted support that they need
to improve.

With the ever increasing remit of the role of SENCO it is very likely that this group of pupils
will be part of the provision mapping process maintained by the SENCO across the whole

Although the overall responsibility is with the leadership of the school there are a number
of aspects within the four key judgements that the SENCO will be expected to have the
evidence to support.

Achievement of pupils in school

      Evaluation of the value added progress for individual pupils based on their starting
       point and taking into account their age
      Very clear evidence to acknowledge the difference between those with a special
       educational need and/or disability who may have particular barriers to their learning
       and those pupils who are underachieving
      Use of the Progression materials to ensure that you can evidence that you are
       challenging pupils’ achievement
      Make sure that any analysis you do on pupil attainment and progress should be by
       using age and starting point as the benchmarks for progress or attainment not
       category of disability
      Best practice would have evidence of moderation of teacher assessment both from
       within the school and also looking beyond the school, working with clusters of
       schools to ensure a robust process
      Case studies of individual pupils, particularly the lowest attaining pupils and for
       those for whom the pupil premium provides support
      Interventions for identified weaker readers and evidence of whole school
       commitment to raising the standard of reading across the curriculum
      Analysis of the most recent phonic screening check and any follow- up screening
       undertaken by the school.
The quality of teaching

      There is a very clear message that all teachers are responsible and accountable for
       all pupils in their class wherever or with whoever the pupils are working
      Professional development opportunities will be necessary to ensure that teachers
       have the knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure this happens in classrooms
      All teachers should be using all of their assessment information to set high yet
       realistic expectations
      If a pupil is identified as underachieving or has a learning difficulty because of a
       special educational need the teacher needs to demonstrate a prompt response
       (based on evaluation and assessment), an intervention to support the individual
       need and regular monitoring feeding back into planning to ensure that progress is
       being made as quickly as possible
      A very clear evaluation of how support staff are used in school including their
       deployment, how they are briefed and how effectively the teacher monitors pupils’
       learning and provides further direction and support
      Evidence collected from observations of lessons (including small group
       interventions) – this needs to have very clear focus on the learning of pupils with
       special educational needs and/or disabilities. Plus what impact did the observation
       and monitoring have on improved learning.

Behaviour and Safety

      Evidence of the representation of pupils with special educational needs and/or
       disabilities in terms of attendance, punctuality, exclusions and bullying and if this is
       disproportionate to other pupils what the school is doing to address these issues
      Rigorous tracking of those pupils with identified behavioural difficulties. How does
       the school evidence the improvement in their behaviour and attitude to learning? Is
       there enough training for school staff on the underlying issues that may manifest in
       challenging behaviour?
      Addressing issues regarding punctuality which may be caused by transport
       difficulties – this should to be addressed by leadership teams immediately – it
       indicates a lack of equal opportunities for SEND pupils
      Prepare pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities to be able to
       give evidence to inspectors on their attitude to learning and their safety and well-
       being in school.
   Leadership and Management

          Vital that the SENCO, if not a member of leadership team, has a champion
           within it
          Provide detailed and accurate information regarding the identification of pupils
           with special educational needs and/or disabilities and the quality of teaching that
           they are experiencing in the school (from SENCO observations)
          Ensure that the school has a planned programme of professional development
           for all staff to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and understanding to meet
           the individual needs of their pupils
          Need to have evidence of rigorous arrangements for moderating assessment of
           attainment for low attaining pupils and a thorough understanding of the well-
           targeted and effective interventions that are in place, for how long, how they will
           be assessed and what will happen once this is done
          Need to have a thorough evaluation of the progress made by individual pupils
           based on age and starting point and know if/when additional interventions show
           that a pupil has made accelerated progress
          Have evidence of parent/ carers and pupils views in regard to interventions,
           assessment and progress
          The governors need to be aware of the accuracy of SEND pupils, the quality of
           their progress and the effectiveness of interventions and additional resources
           used to meet these pupils’ needs
          The governors should also be ensuring that the SENCO does have QTS, has
           achieved the National Award (if new to post since 2008) and is given the
           resources, including time to carry out the role.

The key to a school’s success is that they can evidence high quality educational provision
which is offered every day to every pupil. The SENCO has always played a very important
part within a school inspection however, the new schedule will demand much more from
this already extensive role and therefore it is really important that the foundation stones
are laid to enable the SENCO to carry out the strategic role effectively in their school. This
means ensuring that all staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to
provide high quality teaching and learning opportunities for all pupils.

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