Ofsted drops local authority ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’ judgements

Local authorities will no longer be given an overall judgement of their school improvement functions, Ofsted has said in a framework released this morning.

Instead, a narrative judgement will be published for local authorities, describing Ofsted’s findings after an inspection.

Ofsted said that the removal of the effective/ineffective assessment was because “configurations of school improvement functions are very diverse and relevant to loca circumstances.

“A more granulated judgement is more appropriate and more helpful to local authorities.”

The new framework also sees the inspection process for local authority school improvement functions brought more into line with how Ofsted carries out focused inspections of academy trusts.

Ofsted will now carry out two week inspections of local authorities. The first week will include a “focused inspection activity” in which a number of section 5 and, in some cases, section 8 inspections of maintained schools within the local authority area will be carried out, together with a telephone survey of schools not under inspection. The second week will consist of an on-site inspection of the local authority.

The inspectorate said that this would provide inspectors with a broader evidence base and would reduce the burden on local authorities.

The inspection framework replaces one published in May 2013, and follows consultation with local authorities.

See next edition of Schools Week, dated Friday, November 14, for reaction and further analysis of the new framework.