Today our blog looks at a consultation to bring Outstanding schools back into routine inspection cycles, while we also have the latest on the UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme.
Today, Friday 10 January, the department has launched a consultation on the removal of the ‘outstanding exemption’, which means Ofsted-rated outstanding schools are exempt from routine inspections. This has been covered by BBC Online, the Guardian, I News, the Telegraph, the Times and the Sun.
In addition to this coverage, the Schools Minister Nick Gibb appeared on Sky’s All Out Politics, as well as doing interviews on TalkRadio and LBC to discuss the consultation launch.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Parents want to know that they are making the best, most informed choices about their children’s education. Making sure that all schools are regularly inspected means they will benefit from the expert insight Ofsted provides when making these decisions.
We know parents trust Ofsted – and with good reason. It serves a valuable purpose as the only organisation that gives a clear, accessible and impartial view on school and college performance.
But it’s also far more than that – it’s a driver of improvement. Although we continue to trust our best schools and colleges to get on with the job of educating, without Ofsted standards would go unchecked and the exemption meant there is often not an up to date picture.
On 8 January, MPs voted against an amendment to the Withdrawal Bill Agreement on the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. The proposed clause to the Withdrawal Act Bill would have required the Government to seek to negotiate continuing full membership of the programme.
The vote does not mean the government can no longer participate in the Erasmus+ programme and the matter will be part of the future negotiations with the EU.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The Government is committed to continuing the academic relationship between the UK and the EU, including through the next Erasmus+ programme if it is in our interests to do so. The vote last night does not change that.
As we enter negotiations with the EU, we want to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems.