What are schools doing to meet Ofsted’s personal development framework?

Changes to the Ofsted inspection framework in 2019 saw the introduction of a new section for assessment: personal development. But with the turmoil of the pandemic and the pausing of Ofsted inspections in March 2020, many schools we’ve spoken to have not yet had the opportunity to prepare for the new framework.


In our recent ‘Get Ofsted Ready’ webinar, 45% of teachers reported that they were “very unsure” of the criteria for Ofsted's personal development framework, with the remaining attendees reporting that they only had “some understanding” of the criteria.

Following the return of full inspections in September 2021, you may now be wondering what the personal development framework means for your school, and what actions you need to take to meet Ofsted’s criteria.


At Yes Futures, we’re committed to helping you to support your students’ personal development. Below, we’ve shared five things that schools have done to achieve a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ personal development rating, to demonstrate how schools are putting the framework into action to best support their students.


1) Carefully selected extracurricular support

Schools rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ under the new framework have a range of carefully selected extracurricular clubs or societies, designed to allow students to explore new interests and nurture their existing talents. Many students will show clear progression through their extracurricular activities; for example, by taking part in musical performances or playing sport at county or national levels.

2) Supporting the local community

Ofsted specify that schools should prepare students to be “responsible, respectful and active citizens who contribute positively to society.” A popular way for schools to meet this criteria is through student volunteering. Some schools have effectively linked this to their extracurricular clubs: for example, performances by the school choir in local care homes.


You could also consider how students can volunteer within their school environment. One of our partner schools, Marshalls Park Academy, encourages students to volunteer as 'digital leaders' to help other students stay safe on the internet, while younger pupils have games organised for them every day by older ‘play leaders’. Students on our Yes Futures programmes also learn the benefits of supporting their local communities through our Play Your Part volunteering project.


3) Quality careers support

While all secondary schools are required to provide careers support to their students, schools scoring highly in the personal development framework have been praised for providing extensive careers provision. Examples of this provision include visits to local employers, ensuring that all students get up-to-date and regular careers information, and that staff get any additional training they need to support their students’ career development. Many schools have also partnered with charities like Yes Futures to offer students inspiring insights into the world of work.


4) Promotion of British Values

Ofsted specify that schools should develop [students’] understanding of fundamental British values” including “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs”. Schools have been praised by Ofsted for their use of debating clubs, school parliaments or councils, and participation in Model United Nations events, encouraging students to think deeply about wider issues in the world, their place in society and the importance of democracy.


In particular, Ofsted praised one school where students are posed a different philosophical question at their dining tables every day, encouraging them to consider issues from a range of perspectives and to think about others’ beliefs.


5) Mental health provision

Under the framework, schools are expected to help students “to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy”. Ofsted has praised schools which offer a wide range of initiatives to support students’ wellbeing, and where staff are empowered to support their students’ mental health.


An excellent example of this is one of our partner schools, Trinity Road Academy, where teachers run daily mindfulness sessions in every classroom after lunch. By doing so, students are equipped with techniques to support their own mental health, and are given the time to calm down and reflect on their day before beginning their afternoon learning.


How can Yes Futures help you to meet Ofsted’s personal development framework?


As a teacher-led charity, we know that preparing for Ofsted can be a time-consuming process. That’s why our award-winning personal development programmes are designed to have a minimal impact on your workload.


Through 12 months of tailored support, we empower students aged 8-16 to develop essential skills such as confidence and resilience. These skills are fundamental to Ofsted's personal development framework, and have a proven impact on students’ motivation and engagement at school, their wellbeing, and their aspirations.


Through a series of one-to-one coaching sessions with a trained Coach, and three fully organised extra-curricular trips, students are empowered to believe in themselves and discover their personal potential, helping to prepare them for the next phase of education and beyond. We also provide each school with a full Impact Report detailing each student’s progression – perfect for your Ofsted inspection!


Are you interested in improving your school’s personal development provision? Find out more about our programmes here, or get in touch with our Director of Impact, Sophie Bartlett, on sophie@yesfutures.org or 07908 687779 to find out more about how we can help you to improve your school's personal development provision.

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