The new Ofsted framework for PSHE education (2024)

With its emphasis on ‘personal development’, and reports of PSHE being the focus of “deep dives” in recent inspections, it’s clear that PSHE education will play a key role in providing evidence under the new framework.

This new framework emphasises the need for high quality provision through a broad and rich curriculum, and aims to support the future success of all individuals, with a focus on supporting those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Personal Development judgement requires evidence that schools have worked to prepare young people for the next step in their education and their later employment. It’s hard to envisage how a school could do this well without a comprehensive and thoroughly planned PSHE education programme.

Beyond Personal Development, a well-considered and comprehensive PSHE programme can contribute to all four judgement areas, as well as being essential to safeguarding.

Acing Personal Development with PSHE education

"In the new inspection model, we are particularly interested in how schools contribute to the personal development of children. This area is now a judgement in its own right. This makes more space in inspection for discussing things like the PSHE lessons in which wider life issues can be explored."

Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, July 2019 speech

By calling for evidence of broader development, Ofsted’s new framework emphasises the need to think of the pupil as more than a set of academic results. It stresses schools’ responsibility to prepare pupils for success in their ongoing education or career, and for life in modern Britain.

But what does this broader development look like? It’s clear from the framework that simply knowing the facts regarding the wider world is not enough. Resilience, confidence and independence are highlighted as attributes that should be developed in our pupils.

It’s unlikely that Personal Development would be judged ‘Outstanding’ unless provision is being delivered effectively and consistently to all pupils. Therefore, the need for lessons to be timetabled and regular is clear.

The framework is also clear that if a “significant minority do not receive a wide, rich set of experiences” then a school is likely to receive a judgement of “Inadequate” for this area. So, it’s not enough to leave Personal Development to chance by relying on extra-curricular activities, and doing so might mean the most disadvantaged pupils miss out.

The framework acknowledges that a wide range of factors affect pupils, such as home life and their communities. Schools will not be judged on the results of personal development in the lives of students, but on the intent, effectiveness and quality of the provision in place to address it. As such, it is absolutely essential that teachers delivering lessons are confident, trained in PSHE education and have access to a well-planned curriculum, tailored to their pupils’ needs.

As you develop your PSHE curriculum, consider what you would want an inspector to see. What considerations did you have when planning? What are the needs of your pupils and how have you adapted your programme to meet these needs? What CPD has your staff received to make them competent and confident practitioners? Consider putting together a single side of paper that quickly highlights what you’re doing well.

See our Programme of Study for PSHE education (key stages 1 – 5) and Programme Builders to help you plan the development of your PSHE programme effectively and safely.

Developing Positive Behaviour and Attitudes

The importance of the curriculum shouldn’t be overlooked in the whole-school approach to developing positive behaviour and attitudes. For example, inspectors are likely to look for evidence that bullying, peer-on-peer abuse and discrimination are not tolerated in schools.

Preventative PSHE education that teaches acceptance, tolerance and empathy — as well as strategies to respond appropriately to bullying, prejudice and discrimination — plays an important part alongside an effective behaviour and sanctions policy.

To be considered ‘Outstanding’ in terms of behaviour and attitudes, schools need to show that their students have high levels of respect for each other, are supportive of one another’s wellbeing and can demonstrate high levels of self-control.

PSHE education helps our pupils to know how they can support each other, manage their own behaviour and get help for themselves or their friends when they need it.

Quality of Education

With its focus on the “3Is” — Intent, Implementation and Impact — Ofsted will want to know what schools aim to do for their pupils and why; how well they’re actually delivering it; and what that all means for the pupils involved. This reflects the step towards looking at a schools’ provision, not just the end result. Here is an idea of how this could apply to your PSHE provision:

    • Intent:
      Ofsted expects to see a coherently planned curriculum that equips young people for the real world. PSHE ensures wider development of our pupils, so plays a key part, but we need to ask ourselves: ‘How can we make sure our PSHE curriculum is planned to meet our own pupils’ needs?’, ‘How do we know what these needs are?’, ‘What data have we got?’, ‘What baseline assessments can we do?’.

    • Implementation:
      An approach in which earlier knowledge and skills are revisited is highlighted as a vital feature of a well implemented curriculum. Therefore, regular, planned lessons are necessary. Approaches such as squeezing PSHE into sporadic drop-down days, using circle time as a knee jerk reaction to incidents, or hasty form periods are no substitute.
      Even the best intentions cannot be realised without effective implementation and delivery by teachers who feel confident and qualified to teach PSHE education. As PSHE can do harm if not taught well, this calls for a suitably trained PSHE Lead and teachers who have good knowledge of the areas they are teaching and of PSHE pedagogy. This means that leaders are responsible for supporting teachers and providing appropriate professional development (See our range of CPD days and training available).

  • Impact:
    The aim of all of this is to have a positive impact on our pupils. Schools need to show Ofsted that young people at all stages of their education are prepared for life now and also for their next steps, whether that’s moving up to secondary school, or into further education, employment or training. PSHE education not only contributes to these areas but is also linked to improved academic performance, particularly for the most disadvantaged.

Leadership and Management

It is schools leaders’ responsibility to ensure that statutory regulations are met, including the new Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education requirements for PSHE education.

Ofsted’s guidance on inspecting safeguarding makes clear that the responsibilities placed on governing bodies, boards of trustees, registered providers, proprietors and management committees include:

“making sure that children and learners are taught how to recognise risk and know where to go for help when they need it”

And that inspectors should consider evidence that:

“as part of the curriculum, children and learners are supported to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship both online and offline, and to recognise risk, for example risks associated with criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism, and are aware of the support available to them”

Where else will this be effectively achieved for all pupils if not in the PSHE classroom?

There is a clear need for a proactive approach to preparing pupils — not just responding when safeguarding issues arise, but instead equipping all pupils for some of the most complex decisions they will have to make. Schools need leaders who support PSHE education, with an understanding of its value and role in children and young people’s lives, as well as knowing what best practice looks like in order to encourage it.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for Ofsted can be a daunting process, and changes to the framework may add to the feeling of uncertainty. As educators, we have all been there, hoping that we’ve done all that we can. That said, this new framework does provide an opportunity for those of us involved in PSHE education to really showcase its contribution to the school’s outcomes. Greater emphasis on aspects such as personal development — combined with the statutory changes — should encourage schools, and school leaders, to optimise this vital subject.

There are actions you can take now to make sure that you are prepared and we’re here to help you every step of the way through our training days, including specific training on preparing for Ofsted, and our range of resources, guidance and practical tools.

Good luck!

The new Ofsted framework for PSHE education (2024)


What do Ofsted say about PSHE? ›

With its emphasis on 'personal development', and reports of PSHE being the focus of “deep dives” in recent inspections, it's clear that PSHE education will play a key role in providing evidence under the new framework.

Is the new Ofsted framework harder? ›

Ofsted's new focus on curriculum

“However, ASCL is alert to any shifting of goalposts, and it is already clear to us that it is more difficult to achieve an 'outstanding' grade under the new framework than under the previous framework.

What are Ofsted looking for 2022? ›

We will: develop the evidence base around the early years learning and development curriculum through our research and insights programme. develop specialist training on early years education for our workforce to enhance their understanding of what high-quality early education looks like.

Is RSE replacing PSHE? ›

The guidance for RSE does not cover everything needed for a well covered PSHE curriculum, so if asked the question has RSE replaced PSHE – RSE should be part of PSHE, not instead of.

Which PSHE education is statutory from September 2020? ›

The Health Education and Relationships Education (primary) and the secondary Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools from 2020.

Can Ofsted do a deep dive in PSHE? ›

You can feel secure with a deep dive into PSHE and Citizenship by Ofsted at your school by using this PSHE Whole-School Progression Map.

What are Ofsted looking for 2021? ›

Inspectors will be interested in how the pandemic has affected attendance in individual schools and how schools have achieved the 'best possible' attendance for pupils eligible to attend in person, particularly vulnerable pupils; and how schools have acted to achieve 'the best possible' attendance since March 2021.

How is the new Ofsted framework different? ›

The new OFSTED framework has moved away from data-heavy inspections and now includes a judgment based on quality of education. This includes the 3 I's; Intent (how the curricula is designed and sequenced), Implementation (how that curricula is taught) and Impact (the achievement of pupils).

What are the 4 Ofsted categories? ›

The four areas that exist now are: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management. We will look at the most important elements of all areas — for even more detailed descriptions, please refer to Ofsted's Education inspection framework guidance.

What questions will Ofsted ask pupils? ›

Some questions inspectors may ask at this 'top level' include:
  • How have you designed your curriculum? ...
  • How is your curriculum ambitious for all children?
  • What are you trying to achieve with your curriculum?
  • How does your curriculum support your school's aims?
  • How have you decided to sequence your curriculum?

What will Ofsted ask teaching assistants? ›

Ofsted expectations for teaching assistants

Have you read the teacher's plan? Be aware of where you will be and what you'll be doing for each part of the lesson. If you are working with a group of pupils, an inspector might ask you why they have been grouped or why you are working with them specifically.

What is PSHE called now? ›

PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education. The acronym PSHCE is also sometimes used, where the 'C' stands for Citizenship. As a subject, PSHE aims to provide children with the knowledge and skills to keep themselves happy, healthy and safe, as well as to prepare them for life and work.

Does PSHE include RSE? ›

Most of PSHE education became compulsory for all schools in September 2020. This covers Relationships Education at key stages 1 and 2, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at key stages 3 and 4 and Health Education from key stage 1 to 4.

Is PSHE statutory in primary schools 2022? ›

All schools should teach PSHE , drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum. PSHE is a non-statutory subject.

What qualifications do you need to be a PSHE teacher? ›

An honours degree (normally 2.2 or above) or equivalent in a related subject area (e.g. Politics, History, Media Studies, Law, International Relations, Sociology or Psychology). For this course life and work experience (such as counselling and youth work) is also valued.

Is PSHE a legal requirement? ›

PSHE is already compulsory as independent schools must meet the Independent School Standards as set out in the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014. Independent schools, however, may find the principles in the guidance on Health Education helpful in planning an age-appropriate curriculum.

What makes a good PSHE lesson? ›

Make sure you are able to recommend a place where pupils can safely do extra research if they want to. The efficacy of a PSHE lesson usually has more to do with who is delivering it than the content. Try, if you can, to request specific speakers if you hear good things about them.

How do you assess PSHE? ›

Assessing learning in PSHE education must therefore use a combination of teacher assessment and pupil self- and peer assessment. Pupils' progress is measured against their starting point, not the performance of others or a prescribed syllabus. PSHE Association recommends this type of assessment.

What does an outstanding PSHE lesson look like? ›

Principles of Outstanding PSHE

Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about PSHE, as they are taught to know more and remember more. Principle 2: Lessons are carefully planned and delivered, so that new material is delivered in a way that is clear, interesting and useful.

Which parts of PSHE are statutory? ›

Whilst PSHE as a whole is non-statutory, there are key elements that are now statutory. This includes Relationships Education (RE) in the Primary sector, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in Secondary, and Health Education in both the Primary and Secondary Sectors.

What are the 3 I's in Ofsted? ›

When it comes to Ofsted nursery ratings, consider the 3 I's. Separately they are: intent, implementation, and impact.

What does RI mean in Ofsted? ›

For a “good” Ofsted grade, inspectors will look at the quality of education and judge most of the key areas as good or outstanding, while one are may be marked as “requires improvement” if evidence shows that the school is already actively improving in the field. Good (2) The quality of education is at least good.

How much do Ofsted inspectors earn? ›

The average salary for Ofsted inspector is £46,257 per year in the London Area. The average additional cash compensation for a Ofsted inspector in the London Area is £6,760, with a range from £1,132 - £40,376.

What do the 3 I's mean? ›

The three I's of “Intent – Implementation – Impact” work hand in hand with the three core aspects of successful early learning based on teachers' Planning, Observation, and Assessment.

What do Ofsted look for in a lesson? ›

OFSTED defines an outstanding lesson as one where the students show clear evidence of learning. The lesson should also have no significant areas for improvement and lots of strengths. The inspector will be looking at how the students are responding to the lesson and what they are doing.

What do Ofsted say about homework? ›

Ofsted explained the change by saying : “For homework, it is up to individual schools to decide whether it is age-appropriate, in line with their policy. Inspectors do not assess homework as part of inspections.

What is a Section 5 Ofsted? ›

However, some good schools will automatically receive a section 5 inspection if Ofsted's risk assessment process indicates that the school's performance may have deteriorated significantly, or when a school has undergone significant change, such as in its age range.

What are Ofsted priorities? ›

Our priorities

Inspections that raise standards: our inspections help education and social care recover and improve. Right-touch regulation: our regulation advances high-quality care, education and safeguarding for children. Making the most of our insights: we share insights through our research and analysis.

Can I use the Ofsted logo? ›

All Ofsted logos are protected under Crown Copyright. You can only use them with Ofsted's express permission. You should follow our guidance on logo use carefully and should not edit the logos in any way. We take action against those misusing Ofsted logos.

What do Ofsted look for in teachers? ›

Inspectors will make key judgements about the following areas: overall effectiveness; • effectiveness of leadership and management; • quality of teaching, learning and assessment; • personal development, behaviour and welfare; • outcomes for pupils.

How long do Ofsted observe lessons for? ›

The initial methodology developed for inspection observations contained eighteen indicators (the full list is towards the end of this blog), and lesson visits, as Ofsted are now calling them, were planned to last 15 to 30 minutes in length.

How do you prepare for Ofsted school? ›

Preparing for Ofsted and the new framework
  1. Update your school website. ...
  2. Create your school's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). ...
  3. Understand your Analyse School Performance (ASP) data. ...
  4. Inform staff and ensure all the team is ready for visitors. ...
  5. Ensure the SLT know the SEF.

What do Ofsted ask on the phone? ›

Initial phone call
  • the number of pupils on roll at the school.
  • the governance arrangements for the school.
  • whether the school has any SEND provision.
  • whether the school has any nursery provision for two- and three-year-olds.
  • whether the school has any additional resource provision e.g. leads and manages an after school club.

How do you respond to Ofsted questions? ›

Answer these questions by preparing to talk about how you plan and organise activities. Explain how you cover the curriculum requirements and how you meet the needs of your children.

What do Ofsted ask parents? ›

Ofsted Parent View questions
  • My child is happy at this school.
  • My child feels safe at this school.
  • The school makes sure its pupils are well behaved.
  • My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively.
  • The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year.

Do Ofsted question teaching assistants? ›

What will Ofsted look for? Inspectors must evaluate the use of and contribution made by teaching assistants. They should consider whether teaching assistants are clear about their role and knowledgeable about the pupils they support.

Should a teaching assistant be in charge of a class? ›

Although TAs will often supervise a class if the teacher is temporarily unavailable, they shouldn't be used as substitute teachers as a matter of course – for example, if the regular teacher is off sick, the school should arrange cover from a qualified teacher.

Can teaching assistants cover PPA time? ›

Can PPA time be used for cover? The STPCD makes clear that PPA time cannot be used for cover. Teachers cannot be directed to undertake any duty during their PPA time, other than in emergency situations.

What is the new RSE curriculum 2020? ›

The Department for Education is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils and Relationships and Sex Education ( RSE ) for secondary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020 it will be compulsory for all schools to teach Health Education.

Is PSHE in the national curriculum? ›

Learning opportunities are spread across three core themes: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World. This is the only national programme of study for PSHE education and is signposted to by the Department for Education.

Why is PSHE education an essential part of the curriculum? ›

PSHE education is a school curriculum subject in England that helps children and young people stay healthy, safe and prepared for life – and work – in modern Britain. When taught well, PSHE education also helps pupils to achieve their academic potential.

Is PSHE compulsory in Key Stage 5? ›

It is essential to provide a comprehensive PSHE education programme in key stage 5; this ensures students continue to learn about issues with real-life relevance to them, at a crucial transition point in their lives.

What do year 7 learn in PSHE? ›

Some of the learning experiences for Year 7 include, looking at emotional awareness; self-esteem and bullying; conflict resolution, the law and cyber bullying; learning to learn and the acquisition of 'Thinking Tools'; developing financial awareness and financial capability and an introduction to careers, embracing ...

What do year 2 learn in PSHE? ›

During Key Stage 2 PSHE, pupils learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of wider communities. They learn about the world and the communities within it.

Do you need to assess PSHE? ›

Assessing learning in PSHE education must therefore use a combination of teacher assessment and pupil self- and peer assessment. Pupils' progress is measured against their starting point, not the performance of others or a prescribed syllabus. PSHE Association recommends this type of assessment.

Is PSHE statutory in primary schools 2022? ›

All schools should teach PSHE , drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum. PSHE is a non-statutory subject.

How can PSHE education contribute to pupil safeguarding? ›

It is difficult to see how safety and safeguarding can be good if PSHE education provision is poor. If pupils are kept ignorant of their human, physical and sexual rights; or how to protect themselves and others, or know where to go to for help, they are not being adequately safeguarded.”

What makes an outstanding PSHE lesson? ›

Principles of Outstanding PSHE

Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about PSHE, as they are taught to know more and remember more. Principle 2: Lessons are carefully planned and delivered, so that new material is delivered in a way that is clear, interesting and useful.

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