Several schools performing self-assessments of their quality of education have ranked themselves as ‘requiring improvement’ and in some cases ‘inadequate’, with Education noting that maths and curriculum development require attention.
Education President Andrea Dudley-Owen said States officials had backed up these self-evaluations and it’s likely that Ofsted inspections throughout the current academic year will result in less than good evaluations for quality of education.
“All schools, whether primary or secondary, have curriculum development on their school development plans this year. The Committee, though its governance role, is actively ensuring that the focus on this area is sufficiently sharp in all settings,” she said.
“Some schools already have a well-developed curriculum, some are nearly there, and some have a distance to travel.”
She said an ‘inadequate’ judgment is a possibility “for a very small minority of schools”, with Ofsted already returning that judgement for St. Sampson’s High School and Les Voies last year.
Pictured: Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen has led Education since late 2020.
The response arose after Deputy Gavin St. Pier submitted Rule 14 questions relating to Ofsted’s judgement that the quality of education at St. Martin’s Primary School ‘requires improvement’.
The report stated: “Leaders have not precisely defined the important knowledge they want pupils to know and revisit in some curriculum subjects. As a result, teachers do not have the necessary information to plan lesson sequences that progressively develop pupils’ knowledge”.
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen said while Education is accountable over everything within its remit, it is schools leaders who are responsible for “implementing those policies and for the quality-of-service delivery”.
Therefore, improvements to the quality of education and issues with the curriculum at St. Martin’s identified by Ofsted are seen to lie with the internal, non-political leadership of the school.
“Any Committee/body overseeing the development of a broad curriculum policy framework holds overall accountability for the quality of that framework, which is distinct and different from the detailed and operational curriculum/subject content that education professionals in schools select, sequence and deliver within the parameters of the policy framework,” she said.
Education does have a governance function, but the Committee has begun the process of replacing the outdated legislation. More about this can be read HERE.
Pictured: Pineapples were used to demonstrate the differing lines of accountability and responsibility between schools and political representatives.
Deputy St. Pier also pointed out that the rating places the primary school at the bottom of the Ofsted rankings pile and questioned how this is being remedied.
Deputy Dudley-Owen said the interim governance model is allowing for rapid improvement and challenge in some areas.
This is alongside advising when to teach primary students early reading, catch-up on those who aren’t yet reading, teacher training on curriculum and its development, and a termly curriculum “health check” with officers, amongst other things.
The production of ‘entitlement documents’, which provide detailed information about the knowledge each student should gain in each subject, was resumed in January 2022 after the pandemic diverted resources away from curriculum development.
Deputy Dudley-Owen used the example of pineapples to show the difference between a broad-brush curriculum designed at a national level but adapted between localities to meet the needs of specific classes and learners.
“At a school level this might then be translated to children learning about how pineapples come to be on sale in a Guernsey supermarket within a unit on globalisation”.
Schools can decide which foods to use as the example, how many examples to use, what Key Stage to teach the topic, and which materials to use to meet the broader curriculum requirement to teach about globalisation and interconnectedness.
FOCUS: How school inspections have changed
Positive report for St Martin's Primary
Ofsted deliver poor ratings for Les Voies
Ofsted “will return” after scathing St. Sampson’s High report
Ofsted inspection finds Vale Primary School puts “children at the centre”
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