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  • Writer's pictureDaniel O'Brien

How schools can audit the new personal development judgment and gather evidence

With the 2019 Ofsted inspection framework, schools are now judged on how well they provide for pupils’ personal development.

This includes a wide range of activities across the curriculum and extracurricular activities, including:

  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development

  • Personal, social, and health education (PSHE) education

  • Careers information, education, advice and guidance

Our previous blog outlines the criteria inspectors will use to make their judgement.

In the vast majority of schools, there will be activities and good practice to support personal development occurring all over the school – and outside of the school. Therein lies the challenge; to create a cohesive narrative that Ofsted inspectors can follow, that pinpoints exactly what is happening and when.

For example, the inspection handbook says that inspectors will look for evidence of “how well leaders develop pupils’ character through the quality of education” and “how well leaders promote British values through assemblies, wider opportunities, visits, discussions and literature”.

It will also be helpful to provide inspectors with a strategic plan for ongoing development of personal development provision, based on an understanding of current gaps in provision.

Using an audit tool to map provision is a good place to start. A good personal development audit tool will include:

  • The subject area or type of activity

  • Title of the activity

  • Cohort of pupils involved

  • Short description of the activity

  • Link to supporting evidence

  • Date of the activity

The relevant link to the personal development criteria, for instance SMSC values

Ideally the audit tool will also have the functionality to create charts and filter views by subject, pupil cohort or type of activity. Even better is the option to output this into a PDF.

Schools can develop their own audit tool using an off-the-shelf spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, or they can use GridMaker.

GridMaker is a web-based tool that allows multiple users in a school to map activities in a visual and interactive grid, which can be easily analysed and shared with others. It comes preloaded with SMSC criteria, and schools can add additional criteria to suit their needs.

The Grid can be filtered to display activity in specific year groups or curriculum subjects, and it creates dynamic bar charts. It also creates PDF reports which can be printed and shared with Ofsted inspectors and others.

The how it works page has a short video that shows the step-by-step process for using




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