Ofsted Chief Inspector Views – July 2017

We have long held the view that we should offer a curriculum that is best for our students and not one that is tailored to the league tables. For this reason, we still offer the same range of subjects in the curriculum at Key Stage 3 that we always have done and we still allocate three years for this. We believe that this allows students to make better informed choices for their GCSEs and also better equips them for their future lives. We have also maintained our breadth of choice at GCSE.

How refreshing, even if surprising, to have this liberal view of education supported by the new Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, who in a speech to the Association of School and College Leaders said a number of things, including:

  • “All children should study a broad and rich curriculum. Curtailing key stage three means prematurely cutting this off for children who may never have an opportunity to study some of these subjects again.”
  • “Ofsted will closely monitor schools that chase meaningless “badges and stickers” and turn themselves into exam factories rather than offering a well-rounded education”

This puts her at odds with the Department of Education who have set accountability measures that inevitably have led to the narrowing of curriculums in many schools. We, of course, want all of our students to do well in their exams for their own good, not just for the reputation of the school.