Self assessment and the new Ofsted inspection framework

The new Education Inspection Framework (EIF, Sept 2019) places less emphasis on data (although this is still important) and more on how teachers and leaders support students’ learning progress, confidence, emotional resilience and well being, and also how they are being prepared for the next stage of learning, life or employment.

Aside from this shift in emphasis, an increasing evidence base, sector case studies and common sense make a strong correlation between wellbeing and staff performance and student outcomes.

Ofsted inspectors will spend more time talking to students in order to establish the extent to which they feel supported and safe and how this happens.  They will talk to all staff, not just teachers and leaders, to ascertain the intent, implementation and impact of systems, policies and practices that support student progress and well being.  The primary focus is on the ‘quality of education’ (rather than ‘outcomes for learners’) and two of the four areas they will make a judgement about are ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ and ‘[1]Personal Development’.

The starting place with most types of learning and improvement, both personal and organisational, starts with self awareness and self assessment, followed by decisions about what to stop, start and continue.


  • What is not having an helpful or having a positive impact?
  • What is not a good use of time and energy?
  • Can I or we stop doing this?


  • What do I or we need to or want to start doing?
  • Who does this well and what does the research say?
  • Do I need help with devising and implementing a plan?


  • What am I or we currently doing well?
  • When and how can we do more of this?
  • Who can help and how can we sustain our best practices?

The best schools and colleges strive to do the right things for the right reasons and supporting student and staff wellbeing has all sorts of positive implications.  Why not be Ofsted ready at the same time as improving how we review our policies and practices?

Written by Bob Craig

[1] In the judgement about ‘Personal Development’ inspectors will check how a school or college’s curriculum and wider work supports students to: ‘develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and helps them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy’