A special edition of the school inspection update from Ofsted is now available for download, with some important points for members to be aware of, specifically in the notes for inspectors:

  1. 2017 marks a year of significant changes to GCSE examinations. Inspectors should not compare results from last year with results this year for the new GCSEs. For secondary school inspections, please call the data analysts, who will help you to understand these changes.
  2. There will be some variability in attainment at school level as a result of changes to the qualifications and numerical grading. However, overall, the outcomes of the 2017 GCSE results are stable. Small fluctuations from previous years at school level should not be over interpreted; talk to our analysts about the significance of any variation.
  3. At A level, the results for both the reformed and non-reformed qualifications are also stable. There has been no major variability in results at national level. Small fluctuations at provider level should not be over-interpreted.
  4. Changes in specifications, assessment and examinations may result in changes in the behaviours of schools. Always consider whether decisions made by leaders and managers are in the best interests of pupils.
  5. Assessment data and information is only a starting point for discussion with schools. It is far from the only piece of evidence that informs judgements about outcomes.
  6. Inspectors will use ‘meaningful data’ to inform areas for investigation. They will not focus on single measures with small cohorts.
  7. Inspectors should continue to treat data from teacher assessments at the end of key stage 2 with caution.

Download the full document here: Ofsted School Inspection Update 2017/8