Can It Be That Ofsted’s Plans To Overhaul Inspections Mean That We Have Finally Reached The Tipping Point –

Yipeeeee… finally it looks like we have reached the Tipping Point… I loved Malcolm Gladwell’s book… and there’s a great quote in it “Look at the world around you.  It may seem like an immovable, implacable place.  It is not, with the slightest push – in just the right place – it can be tipped”.  For too long now we have been looking at an educational landscape which was harsh – immovable and implacable – where the concept of the whole child seems to have disappeared, where the sun of fun and relationship warmth only came out occasionally – where exams and attainment targets dominated.  I believe the tipping point may well have been the growth of mental health problems due to this growing culture in schools and homes where adults no longer put time for genuine listening at the heart of everything… but that’s just my thought.  Whatever – we have reached a tipping point and Ofsted has finally decided to change tack by placing greater value on positive behaviour and the impact of developing respectful relationships and nurturing the personal development of the learners.  The new Ofsted inspection guidelines (16th January 2019) have been designed to shift focus towards the ‘quality of education’ rather than ‘outcomes’. The new framework also sees an increased emphasis on behaviour and attitudes in a revised category, with schools able to be rated as having outstanding behaviour if pupils “behave with consistently high respect for others”. In particular it notes that schools in “challenging circumstances” need to take action to create a “positive learning environment” to be awarded outstanding status.

Obviously because of my passion for this area we take a strong interest in the section on ‘Personal Development’ which goes as follows:

“Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:

  • the curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational and provides for learners’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents
  • the curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy
  • at each stage of education, the provider prepares learners for future success in their next steps
  • the provider prepares learners for life in modern Britain by: equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society; developing their understanding of fundamental British values; developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity; celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law.

If adopted, the new framework will come into force in September 2019 (although it will take up to six years for all eligible schools

to be inspected under it).

Exciting?  Amazing?  Wonderful?… it does honestly feel like something has tipped.  For years and years good adults have not let go of the vision of happy, relaxed, valued and engaged children in schools… but it’s been what I call the Wilderness Years… a lonely time where exhaustion and sadness held many great people back… maybe I’m getting too optimistic but it genuinely feels like there is now real hope that a focus will be on wellbeing of children and adults which is central to everyone being able to learn, grow and develop as a person. 

In my next blog I’m going to highlight what some schools are doing that showed they never drifted away from what is really important in education. 

Website Managers Notes

  1. Jenny Mosley is available for wellbeing, better behaviour and lunchtimes and playtimes INSET training days, Working In School Days and for different length projects involving several schools for schools training.
  2. Find out about booking Jenny or attending open training conferences around the country throughout the year. Jenny also excels as an educational presenter at schools conferences, LA conferences and Headteacher conferences.
  3. The areas of Jenny’s expertise include training for mental health and wellbeing,  training for positive behaviour for learningearly years trainingtraining for midday supervisors and lunchtime supervisors, to promote calm dining halls and healthy, active playgrounds.
  4. Jenny’s resources support all her areas of training and are available form her webshop.
  5. Do get in touch if we can help! Phone 01225 767157 or email or use the contact form on our website.