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This year’s Anti-Bullying week takes place between 14 and 18 November. It is an issue that Ofsted focuses on as part of its inspections, and will be placing even more emphasis on in our new school inspection process that we are introducing from January 2012. Under the new arrangements we will give particular attention to how well a school manages pupils’ behaviour and attendance, and promotes and ensures pupil safety from bullying and harassment.
The other three key areas that inspections will be focusing on are: the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, and the quality of leadership and management.
We will be reporting on pupils’ attitudes to learning and their conduct, attendance and punctuality, both in lessons and around the school. We will also be looking at pupils’ behaviour towards, and respect for, other young people and adults, including freedom from bullying and harassment. The type of bullying includes cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability.
Inspectors will draw on a wide range of evidence and will not solely rely on what they directly observe during an inspection; they will listen to the views of pupils, staff, parents and carers, governors and others to gain information about the sorts of experiences pupils usually have at the school.
Parent View One new way in which parents and carers can keep Ofsted informed of how their child’s school is performing is through Parent View. Parent View is an online survey which allows parents to give their views about how well a school does in tackling issues like managing behaviour, the quality of teaching, tackling bullying and setting homework. Parents are also asked if they would recommend the school to another parent.
The results for a school become visible once a small number of surveys are completed, and we hope Parent View will be another tool, alongside inspection reports on our website, to help parents when selecting their child’s school. We also think it will provide a useful insight for headteachers, governors and local authorities into parents’ views. The information in Parent View will also help Ofsted when we make decisions about which schools to inspect and when. To register to complete a survey, please go to: www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk.
Trial spot checks on schools This autumn, we are trialling visits to satisfactory schools where the latest inspection report identified behaviour as requiring improvement, without giving the schools notice. These trials will help to determine whether the schools visited are taking sufficiently robust action to tackle any issues about behaviour.
Parents have told us they want to be able to give their views and they want us to see schools as they really are. One reason schools currently get up to two days notice is to give time to collect the views of parents specifically at the time of routine, full inspections which generally last two days. Getting the views of parents is essential to inspection as it flags areas that need to be examined – for example around bullying and behaviour.