Skip to content

Moving towards a holistic assessment of education quality

Since school inspections first commenced in 1993, Ofsted has had significant influence over the focus and direction of education in England’s schools.

Last year, Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman announced that the new inspection framework, due for publication in late 2019, would return to the “substance of education” and reward institutions “that are all about education, rather than a numbers game”.

In January 2019, Ofsted launched a consultation process on the new draft inspection framework and handbook for schools. In Nesta’s response to this consultation, we welcome Ofsted’s proposal to move towards a more holistic assessment of education quality which focuses on a broad curriculum and values the personal development of young people.

However, we also recommend that Ofsted:

  1. Publishes more detail on the skills schools should be developing in young people, drawn from the best available evidence from education and on the future of employment.
  2. Provides teachers and inspectors with more clarity around what constitutes high quality, evidence-based provision in the area of personal development. Without this, there is a risk of inconsistency in the way inspectors assess this area of schools’ provision. Ofsted should use its research arm to share best practice, monitor what is working and showcase successful approaches.
  3. Ensures that schools continue to use formative assessment to support students’ learning across a broad range of subjects. Artificial intelligence has the potential to facilitate the collection of data in a more efficient way, and Ofsted should explore its potential to inform inspections.

Read Nesta’s full response to the consultation

Author

Emma Sutherland

Emma Sutherland

Emma Sutherland

Assistant Programme Manager

Emma is an Assistant Programme Manager in Nesta’s Education team.

View profile
Joysy John

Joysy John

Joysy John

Director of Education

Joysy is the Director of Education in the Innovation Lab, bringing together Nesta's work in education across innovation programmes, research and investment.

View profile
Nancy Wilkinson

Nancy Wilkinson

Nancy Wilkinson

Senior Programme Manager, Education

Nancy leads Nesta's work on technology and education, overseeing a partnership with the Department for Education to help schools make more effective use of technology.

View profile
Jed Cinnamon

Jed Cinnamon

Jed Cinnamon

Programme Manager, Education

Jed is a Programme Manager in the Education team at Nesta.

View profile