Ofsted Update : Curriculum transition extended for a year

curriculum transition

Headline Info : Ofsted are extending the transition period from one to two academic years.

The Essential Guide to Curriculum Intent 2020-2021

What is the Curriculum Transition Period?

Ofsted announced that they would allow a year’s transition period – so the schools that are making changes wouldn’t be penalised if they were inspected in the meantime. They were always planning to take stock of that grace period, to make sure that schools have the time to do what they need to do to meet Ofsted’s Curriculum requirements.

CPD Supporting Curriculum Design & Intent

JMC led their first INSET training session on Designing your Curriculum Intent for schools across the South West of the UK held and delivered through Bath Spa University’s Institute for Education in February 2020. We are leading these at numerous locations across the UK in 2019/20 and will now extend this programme of support for schools into the following academic year 2020/21 as schools now have until July 2021 to get everything in place.

The INSET programme /outline for Designing your Curriculum Intent can be found here
It is suitable for both SLT & Middle leaders / HODs and is also available as an in school INSET

Where do the Curriculum Transition arrangements apply?

The arrangements only apply to the descriptors of what good looks like. They do not apply to outstanding and inadequate judgements. Essentially, these are schools that would otherwise be rated as requires improvement for the quality of education, because they aren’t as far along with their curriculum planning.

Arrange for a Mock Deep Dive in your school or subject area

Contact our Inspection team to arrange a ‘Mentoring Dive’ to reassure your team & allay any fears

The transitional arrangements apply to four of the curriculum intent (not ‘impact’ or ‘implementation’) descriptors and are clearly marked in the school inspection handbook; they appear in square brackets in each of the four grade descriptors:


Ofsted Good (2) Intent

From pages 49-50 Ofsted School Inspection Handbook

  • Leaders adopt or construct a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and including pupils with SEND, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. This is either the national curriculum or a curriculum of comparable breadth and ambition.
    [If this is not yet fully the case, it is clear from leaders’ actions that they are in the process of bringing this about.]
  • The school’s curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
    [If this is not yet fully the case, it is clear from leaders’ actions that they are in the process of bringing this about.]
  • The curriculum is successfully adapted, designed or developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of pupils with SEND, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence.
    [If this is not yet fully the case, it is clear from leaders’ actions that they are in the process of bringing this about.]
  • Pupils study the full curriculum; it is not narrowed. In primary schools, a broad range of subjects (exemplified by the national curriculum) is taught in key stage 2 throughout each and all of Years 3 to 6. In secondary schools, the school teaches a broad range of subjects (exemplified by the national curriculum) throughout Years 7 to 9.
    [If this is not yet fully the case, it is clear from leaders’ actions that they are in the process of bringing this about.]

N.B. Schools need to meet all the criteria for a good quality of education securely and consistently to be able to achieve Outstanding.

The current Education Inspection Framework (EIF) can be downloaded here


What does this extension of curriculum transition mean for my school or department?

Essentially its good news! You have longer to put everything in place. It’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card though, Ofsted stress that its not enough to have a non-specific plan about the future, for example, telling inspectors that ‘we have a training day about the curriculum in a few months’ time’. Inspectors will want to see that solid development work is already underway.
Ofsted will be looking at whether schools have concrete plans for being on their way to meeting those criteria. They do say that they will look favourably on schools where – based on leaders’ actions – the quality of education could reasonably be expected to be good by September 2021.

Ofsted Preparation & Support for your school or department

The JMC Inspection team can help your school or department prepare for inspection in the following ways:

• Mock Inspections
• Subject Deep Dives
• Senior or Middle leader Mentoring days
• Pre-Inspection Training

See the Preparing for Inspection section for more details

“Very thought provoking. I now find myself reassured and far, far better prepared for inspection.”

John Paul Loker, Head Teacher, Dalesforth Primary School

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