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What we know about the new Ofsted framework

Our Managing Director Daniel O’Brien recently heard Lee Owston, Senior HMI in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, speak to a room full of heads about the proposed changes to the Ofsted framework. This is what he learned.

No progress data

One recurring theme throughout the session was the shift from quantitative to qualitative evidence, and away from progress data altogether.

The HMI said: “The proposed framework reduces the focus on data, particularly internal progress data. We hope this will help reduce unnecessary workload for teachers.”

He mentioned several times that in many pilot inspections, inspectors had not asked to see progress data at all. This will be a significant shift for many senior leadership teams.

A large proportion of the session was spent discussing the new Quality of Education judgement and how this would, as the title suggests, focus on quality of education over performance data.

This is good news for iAbacus users, as the ability to include qualitative data is well catered for in the evidence section, where a range of digital files can be linked.

Inspection notice period

It is no surprise that the noisiest response in the room came when the HMI explained the proposed in-school preparation arrangements.

Essentially, at 10am, the school will receive a phone call notifying them of the inspection and at around midday the inspector will arrive to review a limited range of school information and “discuss” the next two days.

Responses to the consultation so far indicate this is not going down well, and heads in the room echoed that feedback. The general consensus was that the midday meeting will be the start of the inspection.

We will have to wait to see the precise format, but one thing appears certain – from September there will be some kind of pre-inspection meeting between head and inspector.

Trial the Ofsted framework in iAbacus

The good news is that iAbacus allows heads to quickly and easily print off and present summary evaluation and planning documentation for the pre-inspection meeting.

This 3-minute video Three Ways to Use iAbacus demonstrates how iAbacus helps you to undertake a quick risk assessment, trouble shoot specific areas, and turn this into a strategic plan.

To help schools prepare – and make sure we’re ahead of the game – we have already created a new iAbacus® template using the new Ofsted framework.

If you would like to trial it, please contact We will update and add the actual framework when it is published later this year.

Remember, the consultation period is live until 5th April. You can make representations at


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