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JUSCO meeting with Matthew Purves HMI to discuss the revised OFSTED 2019 Inspection handbook

JUSCO Steering Group present: Dave Cates, Claire Williams, Gillian Coulton, Shirley Gruffyd, Jody Lebredonchel, Andrew Jolley, Chris McDonald


On Tuesday 6th March some of the JUSCO Steering Group met with Matthew Purves who is currently revising the 2019 OFSTED handbook. We were also joined by Liz Twist Head of Assessment Research and Product Development from the NFER and Dave Thomson Chief Statistician from Education Data Lab.


Matthew was clear that he wanted the 2019 framework to enable inspectors to judge fairly the setting they were in and enabled inspectors to recognise progress from children’s starting points. He wanted there to be an open conversation around progress, not just published data and that it would be not just possible but natural that inspectors recognise the context of the setting that they are in. He noted that Junior schools are subject to an artifact of the data.  


An additional revision to the 2019 Handbook is that any reference to schools being judged inadequate after a third “Requires Improvement” judgement will be removed.


Matthew set out the four key stages and four key areas of the revised inspection framework for 2019:

  • Purpose: What is the inspection trying to find out?

  • Evidence: What is the evidence that derives from education research?

      • Quality of education - what does evidence say quality education looks like?

  • How: Which looks at measures: Are they valid / reliable?

    • Valid: Is there enough of the right evidence to justify this judgement?

    • Reliable: Repeatable

  • How can the above be put together in an inspection event?


He went on to say that currently the inspection framework does not give “Curriculum” as prominent a place in inspection as it should be and that it is currently judged in other areas.  Ofsted is considering looking more holistically at the quality of education being provided, drawing together the curriculum, teaching and use of assessment. He noted that the 2019 framework would have the curriculum at its heart.


In the revised curriculum Leadership and Management remains as important as previously as this is supported by research.


Safeguarding remains as important as previously but with a possible driving question of “How is OFSTED identifying good practice and how is OFSTED helping develop safeguarding?”


It is currently being considered whether inspection should look at whether resources are used efficiently and effectively, since this is one of Ofsted’s responsibilities under inspection legislation. This previously featured in inspections and it is currently a matter of debate as to whether and how this should become a focus once more. It was noted however, that this may be investigated and reported upon differently than previously.  


The JUSCO steering group shared concerns about how baseline data was treated when presented to inspectors which was a key concern raised by our survey. We also shared concerns around how inspection teams treated Infant schools that had been moderated and a shared understanding of what moderation demonstrated.


Andrew Jolley suggested the following statement be included in the 2019 inspection framework:


When inspectors are judging achievement within a junior school they should recognise that KS1 data may not be valid or reliable, as a baseline. Consequently, this may not enable an accurate assessment of progress or attainment at the end of KS2 (low, middle and high attainment groups are directly affected).


It is not possible to determine an the effect size for an individual school. As local teacher assessment judgements vary significantly and on a large range of factors the effect size on an individual Junior school will vary significantly. Caution should therefore be used when determining initial, pre inspection, hypotheses and key lines of enquiry on the IDSR– particularly, but not limited to, smaller groups of pupils; disadvantaged, low, middle and higher performing groups.


It is important that inspectors within Junior school settings give significantly greater weight to observed practice; children’s outcomes within books and through discussion; and schools own data, where this can be shown to be robust, valid and reliable. In doing so, Inspectors will be able to triangulate their judgements with greater confidence, validity and reliability.


Matthew asked for a copy of this statement to be sent to him for him to consider.


Dave Thomson from Edudatalab discussed how Edudatalab has demonstrated progress from Junior schools.

Dave discussed how Edudata lab had recalculated value added indicators adjusting PAG group scores based on Junior school outcomes and also by calculating progress from Early Years Foundation Stage Profile scores. Reports based on calculating Value Added from Early Year Foundation Stage Profile has been shared at the previous JUSCO conference.


Liz Twist from NFER discussed the NFER Baseline Project which would look at the relationship between Scaled Scores in Year 2 and standardised scores in year 3. The project would give a progress measure. Matthew was happy to be part of the conversation around baseline moving forwards.


Outcomes from the meeting:

  • Matthew committed to look at the data briefing for inspectors, the IDSR. He committed to look at how this can support and fairly represent Junior Schools and Middle Schools. JUSCO has invited Matthew to a steering group meeting focusing on data which he has committed to attend or to send an appropriate representative. JUSCO will invite: Dave Thomson, Liz Twist, Jamie Pembroke, Maze Education, Daisy Christodoulou, Richard Selfridge, Michael Tidd, James Bowen. A date is to be arranged.  

  • Matthew committed to look at training for inspectors and noted that OFSTED will have training opportunities with inspectors several times before the new framework is introduced. JUSCO asked we could be part of the conversation and offer input moving forward and Matthew confirmed that this would be possible.

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