Exclusive: Ofsted will treat this year's writing assessment with 'caution'

New analysis of writing results reveals variations across country.


One of Ofsted’s most senior officials has revealed that the inspectorate is just as reluctant to use this year’s writing assessments as it was in 2016.


The comments from Sean Harford, the watchdog's national director of education, come as the government announced yesterday that it would look into changing the way writing is assessed for 2018.


Last year, Ofsted warned its inspectors not to base judgements of schools on the writing results.


Asked if inspectors would receive the same advice as last year, Mr Harford said: “Yes. Unless we’re convinced that there’s anything different this year than last year, then we will give the same advice that we gave inspectors last year…to treat it with caution.”


And it will remain “unless we are convinced that the frameworks have got better, that the moderation has got better… there isn’t evidence at the moment that that’s the case,” he added.


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