Ofsted has completed pilot inspections of a handful of local schools and will carry out its first full inspections before schools break up for Christmas. Reports of full inspections will be published whereas pilot inspections were carried out privately.
All States' primary and secondary schools and the College of Further Education - now operating within The Guernsey Institute - will now be inspected by Ofsted. It will take several years to complete inspections of all schools and the College but each one is working towards being 'inspection ready' as they will receive very little notice before an inspection starts.
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture appointed Ofsted as the inspectorate of local schools and the College in 2018 and worked with Ofsted to develop a new local inspection framework. Schools and colleges were previously inspected by Education Scotland and then by an independent external inspector until the covid-19 pandemic made external inspections impossible.
Pictured: The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture says a lot of work has been done to help prepare schools for Ofsted inspections.
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the President of the Committee, is looking forward to full inspections resuming.
"Ofsted has been working closely with senior staff for several years – necessarily, but nevertheless frustratingly, interrupted by the pandemic - to develop an inspection process that is right and bespoke for the Bailiwick," said Deputy Dudley-Owen.
"Schools undergoing inspection from an independent, impartial and experienced organisation such as Ofsted is an incredibly important part of the continual improvement process that I know all education leaders consider vital.
"I know the findings of regular inspections will be of significant value for education leaders, school staff, students and their parents, as well as to the wider community."
There are concerns within the teaching profession locally that Ofsted may hold schools to account for weaknesses in areas which are wholly or partially the responsibility of the Committee or the Education Office - principally, the curriculum and safeguarding.
However, the Committee said: "A great deal of work - including specific training for head teachers, principals and key staff - has been undertaken to prepare schools and the College of FE for this new standards framework and to ensure that inspection handbooks for Guernsey and Alderney retain fidelity to the research-based methodology behind Ofsted’s new inspection process but also take into account the unique and specific differences between the education system in England and that of the Bailiwick."
Pictured: Nick Hynes, Director of Education, said that inspections of schools and colleges can help encourage education professionals "to continually improve our offering for the benefit of the young people we serve".
The Director of Education, Nick Hynes, said that Ofsted inspections would "be beneficial to our collective and long-term goals for the delivery of education".
"Schools undergoing inspection by an objective third party is really important for a number of reasons," said Mr Hynes.
"it gives everyone involved in the delivery of education at a specific setting an opportunity to both be recognised for what they are doing well, and also gain insight into where improvements can be made. This focus on continual improvement is really key here.
‘Inspections are also really important for parents and carers as they help give them a firm understanding of how their child’s school is performing against an agreed criteria. And for the wider community it provides increased transparency which can only be a good thing as all of us involved in the delivery of education seek to continually improve our offering for the benefit of the young people we serve."
Andrew Cook, Ofsted's Regional Director for the South West, said: "We have been working closely with colleagues from the States of Guernsey to develop inspection handbooks that are ambitious and reflect the context of schools and further education providers. We are pleased that the benefits of the Education Inspection Framework have been recognised by the States and we look forward to starting our inspections."
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