A weekend of conversation has been been planned for the 13th and 14th of September, with seven regional meetings across England to which all providers are invited. The event, know by its social media name of #OfstedBigConversation, has been initiated by June O’Sullivan MBE as a result of her concerns about the new Ofsted approach to regulation and their aggressive tone.

Interest has been growing steadily over the past few weeks, with Twitter users tagging their experiences with #OfstedBigConversation and a dedicated website has now been built to keep all interested parties informed of the latest developments (click here).

The focus of the meetings are 10 key agenda items:

  1. What do we understand by Ofsted’s dual roles of regulation and improvement? Sir Michael Wilshaw said Ofsted is not an improvement agency but an agent of improvement please can we all agree what this should look like?
  2. Can Ofsted please explain and clarify its rationale for so many outdated complaint initiated inspections so we can actually better address the issues? What do we suggest as an alternative?
  3. Can Ofsted consider the role of an independent Early Years provider advising on the Quality Assurance process which has been given as the reason for so many downgraded judgments?
  4. Can Ofsted ask one of the new Regional leads to attend some of our meetings?
  5. Can Ofsted agree a sector advisory group to help shape their thinking and strategy? This is good practice in many other sectors and is considered to add great value?
  6. If the new model of inspection is to work, and by and large we like it, then can Ofsted seriously think about how inspectors are trained and supported to allow the whole inspection process to be a “grown up” and mutually respectful process?
  7. Can inspectors be allowed to make judgements that are likely to not be changed by an unaccountable Quality Assurance team which draws on evidence that has never been discussed during the inspection?
  8. Can we all agree Ofsted role in the identification and management of significant incidents as surely these are managerial judgement?
  9.  Can we work with Ofsted to reconsider the heavy weighting given to “Leadership and Management” which will lead to a satisfactory or inadequate judgement irrespective of the quality of teaching and learning?
  10. Can Ofsted work with the sector to help parents receive a very clear and unambiguous understanding of what Ofsted dos that ensures their children get a really good experience?
Locations for the regional meetings are detailed below, along with contact details for the hosts.

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