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Title: The contribution of Ofsted inspections to improvement in primary school geography
Author: Pattinson-Brown, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 5109
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2006
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The study investigated the contribution of Ofsted inspections to improvement in primary school geography. It explored the importance and role of inspection reports in guiding and informing improvement in geography, and examined how they had changed with revisions to the inspection framework in 2003. The role of the inspection process was also examined, as well as other key influences on improvement in geography in the schools. A qualitative survey was employed, with a mixed method research design. Analysis of data was by means of a grounded theory approach, supplemented by statistical analysis. There were two main lines of enquiry. One comprised telephone interviews with Ofsted inspectors, and face-to-face interviews with primary school head teachers and geography coordinators. The other involved analysis of the geography sections of inspection reports from before and after the 2003 revisions to the inspection framework. The study showed that, although there were variations in the quantity and quality of feedback in the reports, the majority could not be regarded as useful in guiding and informing improvement in geography. Furthermore, the number of reports in this category increased significantly with the introduction of the 2003 framework, and the accompanying reductions in the inspection of geography. Central government initiatives to raise standards in numeracy and literacy were seen to have a negative impact on improvement in geography, as schools and inspection teams prioritised English and mathematics at the expense of the non-core subjects. Primary geography could be improved if national policy supported the development and inspection of a broad and balanced curriculum, in which no subject was marginalised. However, there is currently limited evidence that this is taking place, and the present inspection regime, with its focus on accountability in the core subjects is, instead, having the opposite effect on geography.
Supervisor: Cox, Elaine ; Catling, Simon ; Davis, Terence Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral