Guide to the Education Inspection Framework (EIF)

From September 2019 Ofsted will change the way it inspects schools, colleges, further education institutions and early years settings in England when the common inspection framework (CIF) is replaced by the education inspection framework (EIF).

It is important to understand that the new inspection framework does represent a shift in focus. It will:

  • put the curriculum at the heart of the new framework
  • put more emphasis on the quality of education and care as a whole
  • reduce the focus on data, particularly internal progress data.

But don't worry, PACEY is here to help. We are producing a range of additional resources to support practitioners prepare for the inspection changes including our 'Early years inspection handbook: guide to key changes' which is available free to members and £1.99 for non-members in the shop. 

What is changing – and what is not?

The most significant changes in the EIF concern the new judgement areas and grade descriptors.

The judgement areas under the EIF are:

  • Overall effectiveness
  • Quality of education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management.

There are also a number of additional changes to the way that inspections are conducted. The most notable of these are:

  • Providers who only provide care for children at the beginning and end of the school day or in holiday periods will only be inspected for overall effectiveness and receive a single grade against that judgement. They will not receive a grade against the other four judgement areas. This is because these providers do not have to meet the EYFS learning and development requirements.
  • Providers should expect to be inspected at any time, even if there are no children present.
  • The list of things inspectors should consider how well staff do now includes:
    • read aloud and tell stories to children
    • encourage children to sing songs, nursery rhymes and musical games.
  • For childminders, the requirement to observe a specific planned activity and discuss its aims and learning intention with the inspector has been removed.
  • There is clarification that there does not need to be a breach of a statutory requirement for provision to be judged as requires improvement.

In terms of what is not changing, Ofsted has been clear that it will continue to:

Additional resources to support you

  • Early years inspection handbook: guide to key changes - if you are a PACEY member, you can download this for FREE in MyPACEY, non-members can purchase this in the shop.
  • What does Ofsted mean by cultural capital? - read our latest blog from Ofsted, to get a clear understanding of what this terminology means for you and your inspections.
  • On the 10 June 2019, Ofsted held a webinar for childminders on the 'Education Inspection Framework: Inspecting the substance of education'. You can view the webinar below. 

Want our in-depth practical guide to the changes?

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