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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 assistants. 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 teaching 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 staff 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 disability 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 mathematics how well leaders and managers demonstrate the capacity to bring about further improvement 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 school. 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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