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Ofsted launches consultation on changes to school inspection in England

Ofsted launches a consultation on the inspection of maintained schools and academies in England.

The changes follow proposals announced in the 2011 Education Bill and aim to re-focus school inspection on what matters most: the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, backed by excellent leadership and management, and good discipline and behaviour in schools.

The consultation seeks views on the detail of how Ofsted will implement these changes.

The consultation also seeks views on when Ofsted should inspect.

Outstanding schools will no longer be subject to routine inspections unless concerns about their performance are identified, and the consultation asks for views on the factors inspectors should consider when assessing whether an inspection is needed. In addition, it asks for views on plans to carry out more frequent inspections of weaker schools and on the circumstances in which schools may request an inspection.

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The voice of the child: learning lessons from serious case reviews

Ofsted publishes ’The voice of the child: learning lessons from serious case reviews’. This is Ofsted’s fifth report evaluating serious case reviews (SCRs) and considers 67 carried out between 1 April and 30 September 2010. The cases involved 93 children, 39 of whom died.

The report has a single theme: the importance of hearing the voice of the child. It provides an in-depth exploration of this key issue. It draws out practical implications and lessons for practitioners and Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

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Girls making uninformed choices about careers

An Ofsted report, ‘Girls’ career aspirations’, has found that some girls are receiving weak careers education, which is making it difficult for them to make properly informed choices about courses and careers.

The report is based on findings from visits to 16 primary schools, 25 secondary schools, including 13 single-sex girls’ schools, and with female learners from 10 colleges. Inspectors also contacted 36 businesses linked to 12 schools.

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Tackling the challenge of poor numeracy skills – why some teaching and learning adds up while other provision falls short

Effective numeracy teaching that is built into practical training makes a real difference to young people and adults in their work and personal lives, according to Tackling the challenge of low numeracy skills in young people and adults.

However, weak numeracy provision focused on worksheets and repetitive exercises can leave them both failing to understand mathematical concepts and incapable of applying their learning in their everyday lives.

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Children’s views are still not being heard

Children’s Rights Director, Dr Roger Morgan, publishes the third annual Children’s care monitor report, giving children’s assessment of social care in England in 2010.

Of the 1,123 children who responded just over half (53%) of children who are in care or live away from home have a say in what happens to them. And when they are able to voice their views, only 51% said it made a difference to decisions made about their lives, with 15% of children saying that their opinions did not make a difference.

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Future arrangements for school self-evaluation forms

You may have seen the Secretary of State’s recent announcement, which confirmed that the school self-evaluation form (SEF) for maintained schools is to be withdrawn with effect from September 2011.

This will mean that the Ofsted school information and evaluation form for independent schools (SIEF) will also be withdrawn at the same time. Inspectors will continue to make full use of the SEF and SIEF during school inspections which take place during the present academic year.

What we do

We inspect and regulate to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.

The new Ofsted brings together the wide experience of four inspectorates to make a greater difference for every child, and for all young people and adult learners, in England. Their educational, economic and social well-being will promote our success as a country.

Our Ofsted: who we are and what we do leaflet and two Raising standards, improving lives booklets explain what we do and how our work is helping to improve outcomes for children and learners. They are available in About us.

Information for...

Inspection reports search

Following the launch of the new inspection reports search in June, we have received feedback from users whose needs are not met by this new search facility. We apologise for this. A new Ofsted website is due in the next few months and we can reassure users that we will use this feedback when designing the new website’s inspection reports search.

We apologise for any inconvenience the current inspection reports search may cause.

Annual Report 2009/10


The Report principally presents evidence from inspection and regulatory visits undertaken by Ofsted between September 2009 and August 2010.

Read the Annual Report 2009/10

Outstanding Providers 2009/10

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The list of providers judged to be outstanding following an inspection in 2009/10 is now live. You can view the new list on the link below.

The Outstanding Providers list

Safeguarding FAQs

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Our safeguarding FAQs are divided into three sections: schools and colleges; learning and skills providers; Cafcass service areas.

Safeguarding FAQS

Ofsted Good Practice

Ofsted Good Practice website

A new service that showcases good practice across all providers that Ofsted inspects and regulates.

Ofsted Good Practice

Early Years: Leading to Excellence

Ofsted's latest report on early years and childcare focuses on leadership and management.

Early Years: Leading to Excellence site

Ofsted News

The latest issue of Ofsted News is January 2011

Find out the latest about inspection in our free online magazine.

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