Christmas message from Ofsted

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Thanks to Chris Southwood for alerting me to the Christmas message [ actually, a school inspection update ] to all Ofsted Inspectors from its national director (education), Sean Hartford.  By and large, it is not full of festive cheer.

The update – essential reading from now on, I think – contains:

  • clarification of the timings and types of inspections certain schools can expect;
  • an explanation of when two-year-old provision forms part of a school inspection;
  • staffing ratios for governor-led nursery provision;
  • information on cadet units in schools and the global learning programme;
  • updates on provision of data; and
  • details of recent relevant publications and consultations.

All these were highlighted by the national director in his letter.  What Chris pointed out to me can be found lurking on page 8.  It's about global learning.  Here it is:

Following a review of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) development awareness and education programmes in 2009, it was agreed that funding to help schools deliver development education should be brought under a single programme.  To ensure that DFID support is consistent with education policy, separate projects are funded in each UK nation.

Every child growing up in the UK should have the chance to learn about the world around them, the facts of poverty and underdevelopment, and about the potential to build a freer and more prosperous world.  The Global Learning Programme (GLP)  will work with primary, secondary and special schools across the UK to ensure that young people have this opportunity.

GLP will seek to help pupils to develop the skills needed to work in a global economy through learning about key themes of development education such as knowledge of:

  • developing countries, their economies, histories and human geography
  • the basic elements of globalisation
  • different ways to achieve global poverty reduction and the arguments around the merits of these different approaches.

Hartford said that he was drawing attention to the GLP as it "maps onto the four Ofsted core judgements and to SMSC".  Therefore, he said, during an inspection, "it should be possible for schools to set out how the GLP is contributing to their provision and outcomes for pupils." .

However, he said, in a move that will surely disappoint Pearson,

"it is not for inspectors to ask if the school uses this programme, it would be up to the school to make the link and to present the evidence to inspectors."

What strikes me about all this is how narrow the examples of global learning are that Hartford cites (the 4 bullet points, above, and the text immediately preceding it).  Why, for example, is there no reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (which set a global context for development), or to the Paris Agreement about climate change?

Let's hope Ofsted inspectors read round the subject and don't just rely on this festive message.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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