Driver Youth Trust (DYT) has published its response to the new Ofsted framework, welcoming its focus on reading but warning that this needs to stretch beyond the early years.

DYT have identified a bias toward early years and the initial development of reading in the Ofsted draft framework. We use our response to highlight to the inspectorate that for some learners, literacy continues to be a challenge beyond the first years of their schooling.

On the release of DYT’s response, CEO Chris Rossiter commented: “We need Ofsted to ensure literacy provision is appropriate across all phases of education. The framework should include further detail on the continued development of reading in Key Stage 2 and beyond”.

The response also emphasises that reading is just one aspect of literacy and calls on Ofsted to check that all schools are ensuring that their curricula address all aspects of literacy and that all aspects of the curriculum are accessible, particularly to those with literacy difficulties.

DYT’s response highlights the ways in which learners with literacy difficulties are overlooked, and sets out five recommendations to develop the draft framework for these learners:

  1. Ofsted should scrutinise the ways in which schools ensure that their curriculum is accessible for learners with literacy difficulties
  2. Ofsted must inspect school-based literacy provision and ensure it is appropriate across all phases in education and in relation to the different aspects of literacy
  3. Ofsted should report on how teaching practice ensures the curriculum is accessible and how knowledgeable and prepared teachers are to support learners with literacy difficulties
  4. Ofsted should set out in more detail how they will inspect SEN support, using the requirements set out in the SEND Code of Practice (2015) to judge provision
  5. Ofsted should follow up their 2010 research report on SEND learners with an emphasis on the experiences of learners on SEN support and those with literacy difficulties.

Ofsted’s draft education inspection framework for 2019 sets out how Ofsted proposes to inspect schools, further education and skills provision and registered early years settings.

“We believe that the inspectorate has gone some way to ensure that value is being placed on the quality of teaching and not just exam performance”, said Chris Rossiter. “DYT has made five recommendations to ensure that Ofsted prioritises the quality of literacy provision as a key indicator for inspection. We will continue to champion the voices of learners with literacy difficulties to Ofsted during this consultation period.”

You can read the full response here.

Driver Youth Trust’s vision is to ensure every young person can access the highest quality education that is responsive to their literacy needs. We currently work with over 30 schools on our Drive for Literacy programme, alongside publishing new research on specialist dyslexia teachers, and developing training on SEND governance..