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Evaluation article: Know your strengths Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Evaluation article: Getting personal  with CPD Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Evaluation article: Parent View — an update Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Evaluation article: Know your strengths

Can you make inspection an enriching learning process that is actually good for your school? Heather Clements of Best Practice Network offers some advice. 

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation

In this article, Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectation in their schools. 

Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence

Tony Powell outlines a step-by-step approach to support schools in achieving the accolade of ‘outstanding’ as defined by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, gives a personal viewpoint of the benefits of bringing in the experts.

Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

Steve Burnage discusses engaging with good practice in the leadership of teaching and learning.

Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement

A high-performing leadership team is at the centre of any school improvement mission. But how do you go about creating an excellent SLT? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network asks…

Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

Adrian Kneeshaw of Carlton Bolling school gives advice on how to focus school spending on improvement planning.

Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school

Matt Bromley offers some advice on turning around an underperforming school in a short space of time while laying down the foundations for sustainable improvement.

Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing

With concerns about mental health rising, what can schools do to help their pupils? Suzanne O’Connell outlines the advice available from the National Children’s Bureau and how it might be…

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty

If you are struggling with a sense of uncertainty, be reassured: you are not alone. 2016 has been a year of upheaval, with the promise of big changes on the…

Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

Tony Powell provides guidance on how to use discussion with pupils as a tool for self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

Tony Powell looks at how to use the feedback from your inspection in school improvement planning.

Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty

How can an expanding multi-academy trust ensure that school improvement doesn’t become a casualty of change? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network looks at the issue and offers some guidance.

Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders

Adrian Kneeshaw looks at how leadership is important to the success of the school, and how to lead effectively.

Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend

In his second article on the headteacher and governor relationship, Tony Powell defines what is meant by a ‘critical friend’.

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations

Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectations in their schools.

Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem

Matt Bromley considers how schools can learn from exam performance data and build this into school improvement.

Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

With new safeguarding guidance released, it’s time to check your arrangements and update your staff.

Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model

This article outlines the Ofsted methodology for determining whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

Steve Burnage offers advice on motivating staff, getting the best from them and building effective teams.

Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND

Suzanne O’Connell looks at a report on baseline assessment in primary schools and it’s affect on identifying children with SEND.

Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement

What do you need to do to make performance management a watertight process that makes a real contribution to school improvement? Keith Wright has some suggestions.

Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust

Tony Stephens, of the Co-operative Academies Trust, looks at what is the best type of multi-academy trust for a school to join or establish.

Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling, gives a personal take on renewing a failing governing body having designed and built one from scratch.

Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

David Birch explains how capturing the views of students can sharpen school self-evaluation and have a positive impact on your school improvement strategies.

Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser?

Frank Norris offers advice on how to choose the most appropriate school improvement partner to work with your school.

Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal

David Birch outlines best practice in the management of the headteacher appraisal process and offers advice for headteachers on how to make the most of appraisal in their own professional development.

Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder

Professional development is a crucial factor in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes, but it could work harder, says Keith Wright.

Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance

Tony Powell looks at how the Framework for governance can be used to clarify the strategic direction of your school.

Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard

There is a new inspection dashboard to go with Ofsted's new Common inspection framework. Tony Powell explains how it can be used.

Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able

Ofsted reports are making it clear. The DfE wants to see secondary schools challenging their most able students. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell summarises the criticisms and recommendations from ‘The…

Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Tony Powell looks at the new key area ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools?

The mental health of children and young people is at the top of the agenda at the moment. Increased anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders are bringing some schools to crisis…

Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

Tony Powell interprets government guidance on assessment to help schools support self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement

John Viner looks at research into boys’ underachievement and reviews some successful strategies.

Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

Tony Powell looks at the revised national standards for headteachers and how they should be used by schools.

Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview

Tony Powell discusses how to prepare governors in advance for an inspection interview.

Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation

John Viner explores ways to develop a culture of continual improvement in teaching through lesson observation.

Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development

How can schools translate CPD into genuine improvement for staff? Keith Wright asked leaders to share their views, and discovered an emerging consensus about which approaches work best.

Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able

Tony Powell looks at how to identify the most able pupils, and the key factors that enable the brightest pupils to achieve.

Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability

Tony Powell looks at how the teachers’ standards can be used to evaluate performance and support improvement.

Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom

Since January 2014 there has been increased emphasis on the behaviour of pupils. In this article, Jim Donnelly offers advice on managing behaviour around the school.

Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

David Birch offers advice on effective classroom management and argues that effective practice relies on a combination of the consistent application of agreed policy and the development of awareness and…

Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance, which means that schools and colleges (including academies and free schools) must have regard to it. It contains what schools should do and what they must…

Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement

School improvement is a complex recipe that takes time to perfect. Keith Wright looks at some of the key barriers to school improvement and suggests strategies and systems to overcome…

Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership

Louise Wingrove gives practical advice on how to become a leader your team will want to follow.

Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision

Given that whole-school literacy is central to raising standards of achievement in schools and that it is a key focus for Ofsted, David Birch outlines some of the actions schools…

Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence

Teachers are good at gathering evidence of pupil progress, but many find it difficult to do the same with regard to their own professional development.  Keith Wright looks at the…

Evaluation article: Getting personal with CPD

Less than a fifth of teachers in England’s schools think their continuing profession development (CPD) is any good, according to a recent survey. One of the keys to unlocking the…

Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process

Performance appraisal is crucial to school improvement, but many schools are still without a rigorous and transparent way of carrying it out, says Keith Wright. Here, he analyses the challenges…

Evaluation article: Parent View — an update

Jenny Townsend looks at the importance of Parent View in achieving an outstanding rating in inspection, and how comments from parents are used by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach

Jenny Townsend explores how parental engagement can contribute to school improvement and in particular the role this can play in raising pupil achievement levels.

Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Ofsted’s Parent View means that parents have a direct influence on the decision to inspect. Jenny Townsend examines why this matters to schools.

Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Published: Friday, 07 April 2017

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Summary

  • However much time a pupil may spend in alternative provision, they remain the responsibility of the school.
  • Inspectors must evaluate the rigour with which the school monitors the attendance, behaviour, learning and progress of the pupils who attend alternative provision.
  • Pupils’ work should be challenging with the focus on progress in academic outcomes and personal development.
  • Attendance should be rigorously monitored as failure to do so will be judged as a lapse in safeguarding.
  • Managing behaviour should not rely on exclusion.
  • Impact is all-important and improved behaviour should lead to better learning attitudes, relationships and social responsibility and achievement.

Inspection evaluates the personal and academic outcomes for all groups of pupils. This has always included those pupils that attend on and off-site specially resourced provision. The inspection handbook makes it clear that if these pupils are not making sufficient progress, or receiving proper care, the school could be judged inadequate overall.

There is a very clear principle that however much time a pupil may spend in alternative provision, they remain the responsibility of the school.

The inspection process

Before the inspection

One of the first things the lead inspector will check in the initial phone call is whether the school has any special educational needs or additional resourced provision and whether any pupils attend off-site alternative provision, either full-time or part-time. If this is the case, the inspector will go into further details such as the nature of the provision and whether it is run by the LA, by the school or in partnership with others.

The inspector will ask the school to provide specific information about the number of pupils and the range of the needs catered for, timetables, the type(s) of language/communication systems used, staffing arrangements and any outreach services provided. Schools should have this information readily available to send immediately after the phone call.

The lead inspector will go through the available evidence to determine whether this will be a special focus in the inspection.

During the inspection

The amount of inspection time devoted will depend upon whether it has been identified as a special focus but inspectors will always give specific attention to the quality of learning within mainstream lessons and on-site separate provision and evidence of learning in off-site alternative provision. Evidence will include discussions with pupils and staff, observations in lessons and public areas and looking at examples of pupils’ work. Inspectors will also scrutinise the school’s records and documentation relating, for example, to pupils’ academic and vocational achievement and the welfare and safety of pupils in alternative provision. They may wish to speak to key partners who work with the school. They must evaluate the rigour with which the school monitors the attendance, behaviour, learning and progress of the pupils who attend alternative provision.

Alternative provision

Inspectors will investigate whether the courses selected are driven by the pupils’ needs, interests and aptitudes. Courses should be linked to those in school to provide a coherent curriculum. Pupils should not be ‘missing’ other courses and be expected to ‘catch up’. Pupils’ work should be challenging and not ‘time filling’ and possible accreditation should be at the right level. The focus is on progress in academic outcomes and personal development.

Safeguarding checks will include risk assessments and outcomes.

Attendance should be rigorously monitored and failure to do so will be judged as a lapse in safeguarding. High attendance is a hallmark of good provision.

Specially resourced provision for SEND

The report must compare the quality of the resourced provision against that of the main school on all the key areas for inspection.

Outcomes

The outcomes judgement is based upon the full range of evidence from pupils in the main school and those in the resource-based provision. Whenever there is a discrepancy between the outcomes for learners in resource-based provision and other learners in the school, inspectors will expect that the school will have investigated this and can provide an evidence-based explanation. They will then check this for accuracy. The focus will be on progress based on pupils’ ages and starting points (baseline) alongside the time pupils have attended the specially resourced provision.

Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Some specially resourced provision may be for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Inspectors will be looking for more than just behaviour management strategies for the base to be judged good. If the specially resourced provision is working well there should not be a reliance on exclusion to manage behaviour.

Preventative and social and emotional learning opportunities should be high profile and rigorously evaluated. This can be done, for example, through providing additional support for pupils’ social and emotional barriers to learning, in the same way as literacy or numeracy interventions might be provided. There should also be clear systems for identifying and making referrals for suspected mental health needs.

Inspectors will not base judgements solely on behaviour observed during the inspection. They will check data and records, talk to pupils and staff, take note of parental views and follow these up as appropriate. They will explore relationships between attendance and behaviour, for example whether behaviour is good because those who misbehave are absent.

Do the school’s strategies work? Do pupils modify their behaviour? What progress is made in social skills and behaviour by pupils in the specially resourced provision?
If pupils are withdrawn for intervention group work, inspectors will check whether behaviour is a reason for this. If so, is this a strategy to contain poor behaviour or are pupils receiving support and guidance to improve their behaviour so that they can return to working with the rest of their class?

Impact is all-important. Improved behaviour should lead to better learning attitudes, relationships and social responsibility and achievement.

Teaching and learning

Inspectors will evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and whether it ensures that pupils are engaged and making good progress. There will be a sharp focus on high expectations.

They will investigate whether pupils follow a different or the same curriculum as others in the school and the impact of this on equal opportunities. The participation of different groups in extra-curricular activities will also be analysed.

After the inspection

The report must make clear judgements on the quality of resourced provision. This will include learning and progress, attainment, teaching and learning and leadership and management. The report must explain and clarify any differences in outcomes and the quality of provision between those with special educational needs in the main school and those attending the resource-based provision.

Toolkit

Use the following items in the Toolkit to help you put the ideas in this article into practice:

About the author

Tony Powell is an experienced Additional Inspector and LA adviser. He writes extensively on education management, but his main work is in supporting schools to develop systems for self-evaluation, school improvement and continuing professional development. Tony can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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