Ofsted's Big Listen

The Bell Foundation's response

In March 2024, the new Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Sir Martyn Oliver announced the launch of the “Big Listen” – an opportunity for people across the sector, including practitioners, third sector organisations, parents, and learners themselves, to give their views on what Ofsted could do differently.

The Foundation responded on the reporting and inspection practice in schools and on reporting in further education and skills.

Recommendations include:

  • Reintroduction of an explicit focus on multilingual learners who use English as an Additional Language (EAL).
  • Reinstating the specialist adviser role for disadvantaged or EAL.
  • Providing HMI and Ofsted inspectors with regular national training on inspecting EAL and updates on EAL.
  • Improving reporting so that all learners, parents and carers can benefit from the advice and guidance provided by school inspection reports by, for example, providing guidance and training to all reporting inspectors on how to write accessible reports using comprehensible English.