Ofsted to review tutoring and teachers’ professional development reforms

Watchdog tasked by government with reviewing two key catch-up policies

Watchdog tasked by government with reviewing two key catch-up policies


Ofsted will carry out independent reviews of government tutoring and teachers’ professional development reforms.

The watchdog has been commissioned by ministers to review the two catch-up policies. It will investigate how they are working on the ground through research visits, evidence from inspections and “other methods”.

The reviews will look “assess the progress and, where possible, the effectiveness of the government’s education recovery plans”.

Ofsted’s review of tutoring will cover both schools and 16 to 19 provision, and will consider the “overall quality” of tutoring whether it is provided directly or through the National Tutoring Programme.

Inspectors were already set to examine how schools’ use of tutors supports the aims of their curriculum following the return of routine in-person inspections this term.

Today’s news means Ofsted will also publish a wider review of the practice. The findings of will be published in summer 2022 and summer 2023.

Tutoring review to look how pupils are selected

The review of tutoring will also consider how well schools “integrate” tutoring into their curriculum planning and delivery, its effect on the overall quality of education, and the likelihood that it will help children catch up”.

Ofsted will also consider the rationale for selecting particular pupils for tutoring, the selection criteria for recruiting tutors.

The review will also look at how much time and resources schools use on managing and monitoring tuition, and whether this detracts from other activities or leads to “any other unforeseen consequences”.

Inspectors will also look at whether pupils receiving tutoring “still have access to the whole curriculum”, and if not, what they are missing.

During the review, Ofsted will visit a sample of schools and 16 to 19 providers that are taking a “range of different tutoring routes”, and carry out interviews, focus groups and observations of tutoring.

Inspectors will also interview leaders of a “small number” of NTP tuition partners, and survey parents and students.

Teacher training review will focus on ECF and NTQs

Ofsted will also review the quality of training and development received by all teachers, with a “particular focus” on the early career framework (ECF) and national professional qualifications (NPQs).

The inspectorate will collect evidence throughout 2021-22 and 2022-23 to “establish the main features of effective teacher development in schools”.

This data “will also help to determine whether the reforms are having an impact on education recovery priorities”, Ofsted said.

The review will look at the training and development teachers and leaders receive, whether senior leaders “value and prioritise the development of teachers”, the quality of professional development and whether improvements in professional development have “led to teaching and leadership improving in schools”.

It will also examine whether improvements in professional development “have had an impact on pupils’ catch up”, and findings will be published in “early 2023 and early 2024”.

Research visits to start next spring

As part of the review, Ofsted will commission a “large-scale” questionnaire this autumn and then repeat it next year to “observe changes over time”.

The watchdog will also carry out research visits to schools in the spring terms of 2022 and 2023. The visits will focus on “what makes different models of deployment for professional development effective”.

Ofsted will also carry out a “small-scale teacher cohort study” to track a sample of early career teachers and other teachers through their professional development journeys. This will run for the “duration” of the review.

Finally, the inspectorate will also retrieve data from ECF/NPQ monitoring inspections to supplement evidence from other activities, beginning in the summer term of 2022 when provider monitoring visits start.

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