Using evidence of the impact of outdoor learning for Ofsted inspections

Evaluation and reviewing Legal Framework Policies planning and evaluation Roles and responsibilities

Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook includes a clarification for schools, which states that they do not want schools preparing things that are solely for inspection purposes, including the way that they review aspects of their performance. They want to see schools doing what is best for their pupils, and assessing it against the core areas set out in legislation.

Accordingly, we have created three new documents aimed at helping inspectors and schools to make the best use of the evidence provided by a school’s outdoor learning and off-site visits during the Ofsted inspection process:

5.1d Ofsted Inspection is intended for self-evaluation.  It provides examples of questions which may help you to consider and assess the contribution of Learning Outside towards school improvement and overall effectiveness.

3.4p Ofsted Inspector – Towards inspection of Teaching and Learning Outside sets out some aspects that inspectors may choose to explore when a school believes that teaching and Learning Outside makes a positive difference to outcomes for children and young people.

5.1e Ofsted Inspector – Suggested reading includes a list that provides the context of Learning Outside in the local learning area with examples explaining some of the benefits for children and young people.

These new documents supersede the document 2.4a Ofsted and LOtC Summary, which has therefore been withdrawn.

DBS checks for exchanges and home stays

Essential Legal Framework Specialist activities and visits

Following the publication of DfE statutory guidance (and its supplement) we have revised the National Guidance documents on Vetting and DBS checks and Exchanges and Home stays. The legal position is complicated, but we hope that our revised guidance will help you to determine when a DBS check is required and when it is not.

You can download 3.2g Vetting and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks here, and 7f Exchanges and home stays here.

Parental Consent

Good practice Legal Framework Must Read Planning and Preparation Roles and responsibilities

Did you know that, with the exception of nursery age children, schools are not required to obtain consent from parents for pupils to participate in off-site activities that take place during school hours and which are a normal part of a child’s education, such as local studies and visits to a museum or library etc.?

After a query about this from an Educational Visits Coordinator, we have revisited the National Guidance document 4.3d Parental consent to clarify what the law requires.  You can download the revised document here.

We took the opportunity to separate out our guidance about the collection and dissemination of information about participants.  This guidance is now in a new document 4.4j Participant information.  You can download it here.

There was a knock-on effect to what we say in 3.4n Guidance for Parents, so we have amended that too.  You can download the revised version here.