We’re delighted to be attending the ‘Leading Learning Conference’ at the West Lakes Academy, Egremont, Cumbria. There’s an exciting programme (see below) including Amanda Spielman – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector from Ofsted. This is a superb opportunity to meet and network with like-minded professionals and hear direct from Ofsted their expectations regarding the inspection framework. Clearly these new changes will impact on all schools, teachers and ultimately the students.  However, there’s still a period of consultation remaining until we see the final version.

Substance and Integrity

Following on from Amanda Speilman’s tweet……’substance and integrity’ seem to sum up the key focus of the new inspection framework. The key messages of Ofsted’s aims are:

  • to place the focus of school provision firmly on the base of curriculum design and provision; and
  • to reduce the role of Ofsted in mandating curricular and pedagogical approaches from the centre. 

This does seem to provide new freedoms but as yet it’s not clear how these provisions will be inspected and judged.

With the curriculum being placed at the centre of the framework, the four elements of focus are as follows: Quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management. The “outcomes” element from the old framework has now gone and that leadership and management have been moved to last position!

Leadership and management are given the role of ensuring safety, community engagement, staff training and crucially enabling high quality curriculum provision. There’s a positive step with a clearly identified focus on workload. This includes ensuring staff workload is manageable; assessment is appropriate and manageable; resources are shared to make planning manageable, and so on. The biggest positive here is the fact that schools will be expected to support and develop their staff through high-quality, subject-specific CPD, focusing on subject knowledge and subject pedagogy.

The major part of the framework is focussed on the “quality of education”. This in turn is subdivided into three headings: intent, implementation and impact. Schools are charged with providing a coherent, ambitious and broad-based curriculum which meets the needs of their students. This is defined both in terms of “cultural capital” but also in a wider sense of being a means to transition into further study or employment. Schools will be expected to support their students to study a full curriculum and to have extra-curricular provisions for as long as possible.

Hopefully, Amanda Speilman will provide further clarity on the new framework in her session, which will help support school leaders understanding of some of the expectations.

Say no to the ‘Ofsted game’

Ofsted have been asking schools not to second guess their inspectors for a long time and, not to engage in the “Ofsted game”. Dynamic subject leaders and teachers and innovative schools have been desperate to look at the way education is designed and delivered in order to fully prepare students in a world where change and progress is so rapid. This new framework provides schools with a real opportunity to see their provision differently and consider new and innovative directions.

I look forward to meeting some of you on Monday. Utilising technology to help students, teacher and parents, to reduce teacher workload and support schools with very challenging budgets, is what we had in mind when we created Homework4. Homework4 is a simple, intuitive, reliable digital homework planner, which streamlines teachers’ workloads, supports students, engages parents and potentially saves schools money.

Having project managed the implementation of Homework4 at Harrogate Grammar School, I understand decisions to use technology can generate considerable discussion and differing views. However, I can reassure you that you’ll not look back. In order to help you make your decision, we offer a 6 weeks, no obligation free trial. I hope once you’ve seen it in action, we can begin to progress towards getting you started. I’ve identified when you could come and have a chat – bring your coffee – we have some very special cakes for you!

Stephen Woollard

Account Director


West Lakes Conference Programme

08.30 – 09.15 Registration (visit our stand for cake and conversation)

09.15 – 10.00 – Keynote 1 – In Conversation with Amanda Spielman – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector – Ofsted

10.05 – 10.50 Workshop 1

BREAK – (visit our stand for cake and conversation)

11.20 – 12.05 Workshop 2

12.10 – 12.55 Workshop 3

LUNCH – (visit our stand for cake and conversation)

13.45 – 14.30 – Keynote 2 – Building and Sustaining Trust – Alistair Smith

14.35 – 15.20 – Implementation Guidance Workshop – Education Endowment Fund

15.20 – 15.45 – Reflection

15.45 – (visit our stand for cake and conversation)