New research and guidance into the local authority school improvement (LASI) Ofsted inspection

10/02/2015

The National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the National Coordinators of Governor Services (NCOGS) are pleased to announce the publication of two new reports entitled The Move Beyond Effective and Beyond Effective. Both reports take a detailed look at local authority school improvement (LASI) inspections which are conducted by Ofsted. In particular, the reports relate to school governance and how local authority governor services can succeed in the LASI inspection. 

In 2013 Ofsted began to inspect local authority provision for school improvement under the Education and Inspections Act 2006. Since introducing the LASI Framework and Handbook in 2013, Ofsted have inspected eleven local authorities and issued thirteen reports. In total, nine local authorities have been found to be ineffective.

Ofsted has also conducted seventeen ‘focused school inspections’ (FSI) looking at how school leaders view the local authority’s role in school improvement.  

The inspection handbook for LASI arrangements states that Ofsted will assess the ‘effectiveness of governor services’. In particular, Ofsted want to see that a local authority has effective methods for recruiting good governors, developing good chairs, training governors and establishing school-to-school (or governor-to-governor) support.

Ofsted inspects how well local authorities:

·         use statutory and non-statutory powers to challenge governors

·         establish a robust and effective strategy

·         identify underperforming schools

·         know the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ of schools in their area.

The Move Beyond Effective is a research paper that draws out key themes from the thirteen LASI reports and seventeen FSI letters issued so far. It will also outline the findings from six interviews conducted with local authorities that have experienced a LASI inspection. Finally, we cross reference the findings from the research with the Clarke and Kershaw ‘Trojan Horse’ reviews to draw out common issues across as many local authorities as possible. 

Beyond Effective will provide guidance for governor service staff to how they can best challenge and support governors if their local authority is ever subjected to a LASI inspection in the future. The guidance covers what Ofsted is looking for in terms of strategic planning, governor support and training, governor recruitment, data collection, knowing schools well and the use of statutory intervention in dealing with underperforming schools.

The documents can be accessed here:

Research

The Move Beyond Effective Executive Summary

The Move Beyond Effective: Key themes for local authority governor services from the 2013/14 school improvement inspections Full Report

Guidance

 Beyond Effective: LASI guidance for governor services

If you have any questions or comments, please refer them to Tom Fellows.

Both the Move Beyond Effective and Beyond Effective can also be downloaded from the NCOGS website. 

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