Closing the Gap – update
Closing the Gap – update

Closing the Gap – update

Last year, during one of our Ofsted support visits, Jonathan Palk shared a useful using piece of procedural analysis advice. When taking a broad view of your schools achievement data, build a picture of the school starting with the pupils cohorts, moving to the headline measures. Our Senior Leaders have taken on that advice when presenting to Governors, Academy visitors and staff groups. That procedural expectation has been passed onto Curriculum and Progress Leaders, when presenting to Senior Leaders and when discussing achievement with their departments.

It has more clearly focused our attention of the under-achievement of pupil cohorts and drive to close the performance gaps of vulnerable or disadvantaged pupils. Feedback from the recent Achievement for All – Closing the Gap conference would suggest that the achievement (and gaps) of cohorts of pupils will have an even greater emphasis in forth coming inspections.

Keynote speaker Bradley Simmons, South West regional Director for Ofsted, certainly inferred that in future inspections;

  • Inspectors will be focusing on LAC pupils (and their progress) – prepare individual case studies
  • FSM pupils progress remains a priority, particularly for the South West region
  • There will be greater scrutiny on “middle leaders” understanding and support for FSM pupils
  • Focus on support for most able pupil’s especially those who are also FSM – the need to be able to “double filter” your pupil data is even more important. Hence we were really pleased to see @4Matrix develop the multi-filter panel across the relevant 4Matrix suite of tools
  • Every member of staff should have a good understanding of the revised SEN code of Practice and be able to explain what they are doing in terms of support for the SEN pupils they teach – “teachers are responsible.”


He also reiterated the headline priorities as per the new framework;

  • Leadership and Management
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment – with a greater emphasis on curriculum design (“Believe in what is possible for every individual child”)
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for all


Of course, it goes without saying, not overlooking the important of safe guarding and radicalisation.

Thanks to my colleague Rob Wood (Assistant Principal) for the comprehensive notes.



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