Supporting English-related teaching and learning at all levels

HMCI Report launched January 2020

The The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2018/19 was launched on the 21st January 2020 and can be found here and the transcript of Amanda Spielman’s speech is here.

The following points from the Report may be particularly interesting to NAAE members. If you feel there are other points that may be of interest or have feedback from the launch, please contact me at

  1. Ofsted reviewed 20 inspection reports for primary schools that declined from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ in 2018/19 (page 58). They found that:
  • “Poor subject knowledge was a common criticism in the 20 schools. Leaders and managers often lacked effective planning skills and were poor at evaluating their own performance. Curriculum and subject leaders often lacked experience and were yet to develop the skills needed to lead their areas of responsibility well.
  • “Teachers also did not pay enough attention to pupils’ basic skills of handwriting, spelling and punctuation. As a result, inaccuracies and misunderstandings in pupils’ work were not addressed.”

2. The section ‘Preserving integrity’ on page 65 discusses the decisions that may be taken by some schools to improve data rather than prioritise the ‘best interests’ of pupils. Examples of this include schools which:

“● enter pupils early in subjects such as English (possibly to avoid needing to teach it to the end of Year 11)
” ● have very different GCSE results for English literature and English language (which may indicate that the school has focused on teaching only one of these subjects)”

The report goes on to say: :These issues are complex. What is in the best interests of the pupils is not always clear, or visible, from data alone. It is particularly concerning when a school has engaged in a number of these
activities. This may be a sign of problems with its curriculum, or that it is not focusing on what pupils really need. The indicators above only show possible reasons for concern. Therefore, we provide data
to inspectors for discussion on inspection, but we do not publish it.

3. Paragraph 183 on page 73 mentions the new ITE inspection framework to be published in the summer 2020 following consultation this spring. NAAE will be responding to the consultation and members’ views will be canvassed once the consultation is released.