MIL-OSI UK: Press release: Ofsted launches a consultation on proposals for changes to the education inspection framework

Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments


  • revised framework to focus inspection on what children learn through the curriculum, rather than over-reliance on performance data
  • proposals will call time on the culture of ‘teaching to the test’ and off-rolling
  • new separate behaviour judgement to give parents reassurance that behaviour is good
  • most evidence-based, research-informed and tested framework in Ofsted’s 26-year history

The new framework proposes a shift that will rebalance inspection to make sure that young people are being taught the best of what has been thought and said. Instead of taking exam results and test data at face value, Ofsted will look at how a nursery, school, college or other provider’s results have been achieved – whether they are the result of broad and rich learning, or gaming and cramming.

Ofsted’s research has found that some children are having their teaching narrowed in schools in order to boost performance table points:

  • in many primary schools, rather than reading a wide range of books, some children are instead spending their time repeating reading comprehension tests
  • in certain secondary schools pupils are being forced to pick exam subjects a year or more early, meaning many lose out on the arts, languages and music
  • at GCSE level, pupils are being pushed away from studying EBacc subjects such as history, geography, French and German, and towards qualifications deemed to be ‘easier’

Similar practices exist in the further education and skills sector, such as:

  • some colleges offering ‘popular’ courses designed to attract maximum student numbers, rather than those which will lead to a job
  • useful maths and English not being taught to support students’ vocational training
  • apprenticeship providers focusing on quantity rather than quality, meaning young people don’t get the training they need

And in early years, instead of feeling able to spend time reading to children, or playing with them, nursery staff feel pressured into completing endless documentation to demonstrate each stage of a child’s development.

The new framework will seek to tackle these practices, looking instead at every stage of education from nursery to college, whether young people are being offered a rich curriculum which is taught well and leads to them achieving their all.

The key proposals for consultation include:

  • a new ‘quality of education’ judgement, with the curriculum at its heart
  • looking at outcomes in context and whether they are the result of a coherently planned curriculum, delivered well
  • no longer using schools’ internal performance data as inspection evidence, to ensure inspection does not create unnecessary work for teachers
  • separate judgements about learners’ ‘personal development’ and ‘behaviour and attitudes’
  • extending on-site time for short inspections of good schools to 2 days, to ensure inspectors have sufficient opportunity to gather evidence that a school remains good

The ‘leadership and management’ judgement will remain, and will include looking at how leaders develop teachers and staff, while taking their workload and wellbeing into account. Inspectors will continue to make an overall effectiveness judgement about a provider. All judgements will still be awarded under the current 4-point grading scale. Parents will still get the information they value and understand.

The new framework builds on our existing expertise but marks a change in emphasis towards the substance of education. The proposed changes to the framework will make it easier to recognise and reward good work done by schools in areas of high disadvantage, by tackling the perverse incentives that leave them feeling they have to narrow the curriculum. Shifting the emphasis away from performance data will empower schools to always put the child first and actively discourage negative practices such as off-rolling.

Ofsted has also responded to the demand for parents to give better information about how well behaviour is managed in a school. A new separate behaviour judgement will assess whether schools are creating a calm, well-managed environment free from bullying. Alongside that, proposals for a ‘personal development judgement’ will recognise the work schools and colleges do to build young people’s resilience and confidence in later life – through work such as cadet forces, National Citizenship Service, sports, drama or debating teams.

Launching the consultation in a speech to the Sixth Form Colleges Association, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, will say:

The new quality of education judgement will look at how providers are deciding what to teach and why, how well they are doing it and whether it is leading to strong outcomes for young people. This will reward those who are ambitious and make sure that young people accumulate rich, well-connected knowledge and develop strong skills using this knowledge.

This is all about raising true standards. Nothing is more pernicious to these than a culture of curriculum narrowing and teaching to the test.

She will continue:

Two words sum up my ambition for the framework: substance and integrity.

The substance that has all children and young people exposed to the best that has been thought and said, achieve highly and set up to succeed.

And the integrity that makes sure every child and young person is treated as an individual with potential to be unlocked, and staff as experts in their subject or field, not just as data gatherers and process managers. And above all that you are rewarded for doing the right thing.

Ofsted is committed to making sure that any changes to the inspection framework and approach are fair, reliable and valid.

Today’s proposals are the result of well over a year of research, developmental work and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders. Since June 2017, Ofsted has held over 200 engagement events attended by more than 16,000 people. The feedback from these events has helped shape the new framework and approach. More stakeholder events are planned during the course of the consultation. The draft framework criteria have also been tested in a series of pilot inspections, which will continue throughout the spring term.

The draft framework is accompanied by a research commentary which underpins the evidence base for each of its aspects. As a result, Ofsted is confident that this will be the most evidence-based, researched and transparent framework in our history.

The consultation is open until 4 April 2019. Views are sought on the overall changes to the framework as well as on how they will work in practice for the individual education remits. All responses received will be considered carefully, and will help Ofsted to refine and improve the proposed approach before the final framework and inspection handbooks are published in summer 2019.


MIL-OSI UK: LIVE – final day of Commons debate on the Brexit deal ahead of the vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill – Video

Source: British Parliament News (Video)

From around 12 : 50 GMT, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox opens the last day of five days of debate in the House of Commons on the Government’s deal for leaving the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May will close the debate with a speech from about 18 : 30 GMT, before Members of Parliament cast their votes on any amendments selected to be considered, ahead of having their say on the Brexit deal.

For more details on UK Parliament’s business today, the timings and amendments selected for debate, go to the Order Paper:

You can also follow what’s happening with the House of Commons Twitter feed and watch everything on UK Parliament’s live streaming website,

Comments are disabled for this video.


MIL-OSI UK: Eastwood: NI cannot fall victim to politics in London

Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has said that politicians in Westminster must wake up to the reality that there can be no deal without a Backstop. Mr Eastwood added that tonight’s vote does not diminish this reality, rather it merely shows how far removed Westminster is from our unique circumstances here.

Mr Eastwood commented: 

“There is no such thing as a good Brexit but if we are forced to leave the EU then Northern Ireland must to be protected through a backstop.

“The naive belief in Westminster that a better deal can be negotiated with Brussels is merely postponing the inevitable. That fact remains – there is no way to avoid a hard border in Ireland if Northern Ireland leaves the Customs Union and Single Market. That is why a backstop is essential. The SDLP have said this from day one. 

“Northern Ireland’s economy and stability can’t be sacrificed because politicians in London have failed to recognise the obvious.”


MIL-OSI UK: Government Defeat

Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland

Comment by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“Delighted Mrs May’s treacherous deal got its just deserts in the House of Commons. It deserved no better. The PM needs to now present EU the unequivocal choice of ditch the Backstop or face No Deal. No more rollover; time to make Brussels face reality.”


MIL-OSI UK: Corbyn tables confidence motion as May’s deal suffers historic defeat

Source: Labour List UK

Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the government after Theresa May’s deal was defeated by a huge 230 vote majority tonight.

Labour’s confidence motion will be debated and voted on tomorrow, but the government will likely survive as Tory and DUP MPs have pledged to support it despite having decisively voted down its Brexit deal.

248 Labour MPs, 118 Tories and all the DUP representatives voted against May’s deal. ‪Only three Labour MPs voted for May’s deal – Ian Austin, Kevin Barron, John Mann – plus Frank Field, who now sits as an Independent.

Both Jim Fitzpatrick, who said he was minded to vote for May’s deal last week, and Caroline Flint, who hadn’t confirmed either way, helped to defeat the deal. Lisa Nandy, Gareth Snell, Kate Hoey and other possible Labour rebels had already promised to follow the Labour whip tonight.

Speaking in the Commons after the vote, Jeremy Corbyn described the defeat as “catastrophic”. He said: “After two years of failed negotiations, the House of Commons has delivered its verdict on her Brexit deal and that verdict is absolutely decisive.”

The Labour leader added: “In the last two years, she has only had one priority: the Conservative Party. Her governing principle of delay and denial has reached the end of the line. She cannot seriously believe that after two years of failure, she is capable of negotiating a good deal for the people of this country.”

Although Corbyn has already called on the Prime Minister to renegotiate her deal and expressed his preference for one that includes customs union membership, May’s spokesperson did not indicate that such compromises would be made.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister would consult “senior parliamentarians”, not the opposition leader, on a deal based on the same principles of taking control of “money, borders, laws” with “an independent trade policy”.

Following the likely outcome of the confidence vote tomorrow, Corbyn will face pressure from Labour MPs and activists to back a fresh EU referendum. However, his spokesperson made clear that there are “other options on the table”.

Asked what were the other options, the spokesperson replied: ‪“The first is the alternative plan that we have laid out and that we believe can command a majority across the commons, even without a general election.”‬

He added: ‪“All options on the table means there is no hierarchy of options but this is our policy.”‬ On the possibility of tabling multiple motions of no confidence in the government, the spokesperson said: “‪Motions of no confidence can happen more than once.”‬

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MIL-OSI UK: Theresa May’s Brexit deal just got rejected

Source: Liberal Democrats UK

Theresa May’s Brexit deal just lost in the Commons by 230 votes. This is huge – she’s failed to convince her party, failed to convince Parliament and failed in her attempt to scaremonger MPs into backing her. It’s the biggest loss in the Commons by a Government – ever.

Brexit is a national embarrassment.

It’s time for the Prime Minister to pull her head out the sand and act with some responsibility. She has to take the threat of no deal Brexit off the table and call a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU. It’s the only sensible way out of this mess – we have to give the people, not the politicians, the final say. 

Theresa May’s not the only one who’s letting the country down. Jeremy Corbyn is finally calling a vote of no confidence after we, but his strategy boils down to a General Election between two sides of the same coin. He wants the same Brexit – he’d just slap a red rosette on it.

Jeremy, it’s time to grow a backbone. Stand with us and demand better for Britain – support our call for a People’s Vote. 

We’ve fought since the referendum to give people the final say on Brexit. And by leading that debate Liberal Democrats have seen support for a People’s Vote go from 20% to a majority of the population.

We should be proud of what we have achieved but now we need to step up further- this is just too important.

Over 200,000 people have already signed our petition calling for an opportunity to exit from Brexit – will you join them and help end this national embarrassment?


MIL-OSI UK: Caroline Lucas: We need a People’s Vote no matter who’s in Number 10

Source: Green Party of England and Wales

15 January 2019

Responding to events in Parliament tonight, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said:

“This is game over for Theresa May. But it’s only the end of the beginning of this whole Brexit saga.

“MPs don’t want Theresa May’s deal, they rightly reject no deal, and they can’t have a fantasy renegotiation.

“Unable to win the most important vote in a generation, our Government is no longer in power. So I will support this motion of no confidence – but a general election where both of the biggest parties support some kind of Brexit won’t heal the very real divisions this process has caused.

“If the Remain campaign learns from the mistakes of 2016, a People’s Vote could deliver the frank and honest debate we need, and provide an opportunity to move on from Brexit, empower communities and build a fairer country.

“I’ll keep campaigning for the public to have a say over our future relationship with our nearest neighbours, no matter who occupies Number 10.”

Caroline is among the sponsors of a cross-party motion of no confidence in the Government.


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MIL-OSI UK: Rhun ap Iorwerth calls for Major Summit to discuss challenges facing Welsh Economy

Source: Party of Wales

Highlighting challenges facing all parts of the Welsh Economy at present – particularly due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit – Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Economy and Finance Rhun ap Iorwerth has called on Welsh Government to convene a summit to discuss the challenges facing the country’s economy moving forward.
Reports that the Ford plant in Bridgend is set to lay-off over half of its workforce in a move that would see 1,000 jobs lost have been followed up by reports of deep uncertainty regarding the future of the proposed Wylfa Newydd development and concerns regarding the future of Airbus in Broughton.
In an emergency question to Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates today in the National Assembly, Mr ap Iorwerth called on the Minister to convene a major summit to discuss the challenges facing the country’s economy.
Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“I am deeply concerned regarding the announcement made concerning the future of Ford Bridgend, both indeed for the workforce there on site and also the wider Welsh economy.
“I suggest that it is time, considering the seriousness of the situation we face at the Ford plant in Bridgend – and elsewhere across the country – that a major summit is convened to look at some of the threats we face in the Welsh Economy.
“We are facing challenges to our economy across Wales, including the deep uncertainty surrounding Wylfa – which is an issue I hope to be able to raise with the Minister later this week – but also the threats in the longer term perhaps to Airbus at Broughton due to Brexit, as well as the wider issues linked to our planned departure from the European Union.”


MIL-OSI UK: Now is time for a People’s Vote on Brexit, says Long

Source: Alliance – Northern Ireland

Now is time for a People’s Vote on Brexit, says Long

January 15, 2019 8:19 PM

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said now is the time for a People’s Vote, after the Prime Minister suffered a major defeat on her proposed Brexit deal.

Theresa May lost the vote in the House of Commons by 230, the largest defeat for a sitting UK Government in history. Mrs Long said it was frustrating but not surprising Parliament is so divided over the issue.

“What is surprising is the margin of the defeat suffered by the Government. However, that should not cloud the fact those who rejected the deal did so for vastly different reasons,” she said.

“Alliance has always been clear there is no such thing as a good or sensible Brexit. The Brexit process has been defined by a flawed concept, incompatible red-lines, unrealistic expectations and imaginary solutions. Even today, 30 months on, there is still no clarity on what the UK wants in terms of Brexit.

“Parliament last week rejected a no deal Brexit, recognising it would be disaster for the UK, and a catastrophe for Northern Ireland.

“Now they have rejected the Withdrawal Agreement, despite the fact any negotiated Brexit will require a Withdrawal Agreement, including an open-ended, all weather backstop. This reality cannot be escaped or avoided. They have also comprehensively failed to offer any single alternative which commands a majority.

“It is now clear the only coherent way forward is to have a People’s Vote. Democracy is an active process, and given what we now know and the ongoing deadlock, the people of UK must have the right to have their say.”


MIL-OSI UK: Jeremy Corbyn tables motion of no confidence in government following historic defeat – The Labour Party

Source: Labour Party UK

Thank you Mr Speaker. The result of tonight’s vote is the greatest defeat for a government since the 1920s in this House. This is a catastrophic defeat for this government.


After two years of failed negotiations, the House of Commons has delivered its verdict on her Brexit deal and that verdict is absolutely decisive.


I hear the words of the Prime Minister but the actions of her government in these past two years speak equally clearly.


She is only attempting to reach out now, to try to keep her failed deal alive after it has been so roundly rejected by parliament on behalf of the people of this country.

Labour had laid out our priorities consistently: no deal must be taken off the table, a permanent customs union must be secured and people’s rights and protections must be guaranteed so they don’t fall behind.


At every turn the Prime Minister has closed the door on dialogue.


Businesses begged her to negotiate a comprehensive customs union, trade union leaders pressed her for the same thing. They were ignored.


In the last two years, she has only had one priority: the Conservative Party.

Her governing principle of delay and denial has reached the end of the line.

She cannot seriously believe that after two years of failure, she is capable of negotiating a good deal for the people of this country.


On the most important issue facing us, this government has lost the confidence of this House and this country.


I therefore Mr Speaker, inform you, that I have tabled a motion of no confidence in this government. I am pleased that motion will be debated tomorrow so this House can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion of no confidence in this government.