SoA welcomes Ofsted’s new focus on ‘quality of education’

3 April 2019

The Society of Authors’ Educational Writers Group (EWG) has welcomed Ofsted’s new draft inspection framework, which proposes shifting focus away from exam results and onto a broader understanding of educational standards.

The draft framework sets out plans to place new emphasis on ‘substance of education’ and to include a new ‘quality of education’ judgement in inspections. The Educational Writers Group has expressed support for these aims in its response to Ofsted’s consultation on the proposals.

The SoA believes that in recent years the curriculum and Ofsted’s approach has been too focused on exams at the expense of a well-rounded education that encourages interest in learning and develops creativity. We hope that the new emphasis on examining the overall breadth and quality of education will go some way to address this imbalance.

We also support the emphasis on teaching a ‘full range of subjects’. We hope that this will help reverse the declining emphasis placed on creative subjects in schools.

In recent years we have seen a narrowing of the curriculum and a year-on-year decrease in the number of students taking creative subjects, largely due to the expansion of the EBacc which excludes creative subjects. We hope that a new approach from Ofsted, which recognises the value of a broad education, will encourage more schools to invest in creative subjects. It is essential that this commitment to valuing a ‘full range of subjects’ isn’t neglected by inspectors.

Anne Rooney, Chair of the Society of Authors’ Educational Writers Group (EWG), said:

“The EWG sincerely welcomes this shift of focus towards the quality of education. We hope and believe that concentrating less on measurable outcomes will give schools the opportunity to help all pupils fulfil their individual potential, particularly those that fall outside the broad middle band of achievement (at both ends) who are ill-served by a narrowly exam-oriented approach. A high-quality, broad education including creative subjects is the best start in life for our young people and an invaluable investment in our country’s future.”

You can read the SoA’s full response to the consultation here.