Ofsted's New 'Quality of Education' Judgement

Author: Ben Greenwood

Posted: 11 Nov 2019

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

Ofsted introduced the new key judgement, quality of education, earlier this year and with it, they detailed new inspection criteria they will use to assess a school’s success in this area. Ensuring that you’re familiar with what inspectors are looking for will help you to excel at your next inspection. 

This change to the Ofsted inspection framework is an effort to shift inspection away from data and teachers and instead  turning the magnifying glass on the curriculum as a whole. Inspectors will still be looking at how teachers deliver the new curriculum but there will be less of a data orientated inspection. Instead, they’ll be looking at  what the curriculum is, how this is delivered and how well students respond to the curriculum and the knowledge and skills they retain. 

quality of education framework changes

A huge framework change

The introduction of this judgement has seen outcomes and teaching, learning and assessment discarded to make way for the more heavily weighted, the quality of education.To prevent this new judgement from becoming too complex, Ofsted have broken it down into three areas, Intent, Implementation and Impact. 

These three areas are designed to assess the different stages of the curriculum. Intent focuses on the planning and content of the curriculum, implementation looks at the actual practical application of the curriculum and impact measures the effect it has on students’ attainment and progress.

But what do they mean?


Intent measures the extent to which schools teach a varied and rich curriculum, as opposed to teaching for assessment results and exams. The school’s intent will be assessed to ensure that student wellbeing and teacher workload are being considered as well as academic attainment and progress. Schools that have a clear curricular design with good coverage and appropriate content are likely to pick up favourable results here.


Implementation refers to the way in which the curriculum is delivered. This includes how it is taught in the classroom, if it is suitable and what assessments aim to achieve. Schools that follow their curriculum well and teachers that deliver lessons and assessments appropriately will be graded highly for this. 


Impact measures the progress students make and what they get out of their time at school. Their attainment in tests and progress throughout their school life will be assessed and reading ability will be closely monitored (mostly at primary level). Ensure that the implementation of your curriculum caters to all students and that, whilst you are preparing students for assessments and exams, you are also providing wider learning in various subjects too. 


Only time will tell what effects the new framework will have on schools. As teachers and senior leaders prepare for inspection under the new judgement criteria, all we know for sure is that many schools will need to assess  their curriculum and school policy in order to comply with the new framework. 

Keep up to date with these changes as we continue to unravel Ofsted's new framework every week, from now until January.

New ofsted terminology poster download