Important Ofsted Changes: Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare

Another ‘new’ Ofsted Inspection Framework is being used in schools from September 2015.

There’s some good news and some that we have concerns about, but let’s focus on the positives.

PDBW Ofsted

This is the first time that Ofsted has given “personal development” a judgement. If a school is failing in its duty to promote the wellbeing of pupils it could fail its inspection (and more importantly, fail the young people in its care).

Schools are being judged using the following criteria:

Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of children and learners by evaluating the extent to which the provision is successfully promoting and supporting children’s and other learners’:

  • pride in achievement and commitment to learning, supported by a positive culture across the whole provider

  • self-confidence, self-awareness and understanding of how to be a successful learner

  • choices about the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training, where relevant, from impartial careers advice and guidance

  • where relevant, employability skills so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training

  • prompt and regular attendance

  • following of any guidelines for behaviour and conduct, including management of their own feelings and behaviour, and how they relate to others

  • understanding of how to keep themselves safe from relevant risks such as abuse, sexual exploitation and extremism, including when using the internet and social media

  • knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy, both emotionally and physically, including through exercising and healthy eating

  • personal development, so that they are well prepared to respect others and contribute to wider society and life in Britain.”

There needs to be a whole school approach to personal development, behaviour and welfare. PSHE Education as a subject will not do this in isolation. Having said that, it’s difficult to imagine how schools could achieve the intended outcomes of these statements without a planned programme of learning for personal and social development.

Not Yet Good Enough

The solution is threefold.

  1. Personal development needs to be part of a holistic approach to wellbeing throughout the school and not just a curriculum area.
  2. There needs to be a planned programme of work for the teaching and learning of PSHE Education or PSD (personal and social development).
  3. A planned programme of work for PSHE/PSD should be an integral part of the school’s curriculum.

3Di Associates advocates a multiple intelligences approach to holistic learning and a whole school approach. By this we mean that all aspects of school – the pedagogy, the curriculum, the culture, the ethos and the environment should be planned, implemented, monitored and evaluated by using a model of intelligences based on the premise that there are six core intelligences.

  • Intellectual intelligence
  • Instinctual intelligence
  • Social intelligence
  • Personal intelligence
  • Physical intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence

Schools should provide opportunities for individuals to develop each of their intelligences.

Intellectual intelligence Logical thinking, intellectual study, factual learning, ability to interpret, analyse, inform, reason.
Instinctual intelligence Hard-wired “non-thinking” responses to events and experiences which can be positively reinforced through repetition and practice.
Social intelligence Developing empathy, understanding the needs of others, understanding how we connect with one another, caring for others, communication skills.
Personal intelligence Insight – understanding ourselves, our passions, our drives, our feelings and emotions. Aware of strengths and weaknesses.
Physical intelligence Awareness and understanding of the world through skillful use of the senses; being and staying physically well.
Spiritual intelligence Intuition, values, virtuous living, awe and wonder, feelings.

Collectively, these intelligences collaborate, interact and synthesise, giving us the potential to be emotionally intelligent. (We do not propose an emotional intelligence as such)

Schools could also use the model of intelligences as a planning tool for all aspects of school life – a holistic, whole-school approach.

For example,

Intellectual intelligence Pedagogy, the curriculum, resources, the environment.
Instinctual intelligence Awareness of instinct, gut reactions, “what comes naturally”.
Social intelligence Opportunities for collaboration, sharing, empathising, pupil/parental voice.
Personal intelligence Knowing the individual needs of the child, personalised learning.
Physical intelligence Physical environments and opportunities to be physically healthy, school meals and food.
Spiritual intelligence Intuition, values, awe and wonder, feelings.

[NB: The suggestions in the two boxes above are examples and not a complete list. Further explanation about the intelligences and wellbeing will follow in future blogposts.]

Schools currently have a duty to “promote the wellbeing of pupils” as set out in the Education Act 2006.


The Common Assessment Framework from Ofsted provides another means to monitor and evaluate the progress in “personal development, behaviour and welfare”.

Whilst Ofsted has made it clear its list of criteria is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive, it has provided some clear descriptors on how it will judge a school in each of its categories – outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

To support the self-assessment process, 3Di Associates has reviewed these statements, alongside the other judgement categories and will be providing some examples of good practice and “evidence” in forthcoming posts.

For now, we have looked at the statements for “inadequate”. (Pages 53 and 54 of the School Inspection Handbook)

To paraphrase, schools are likely to be judged as “inadequate” for personal development, behaviour and welfare if any of one of the following are in evidence.

  1. Low and/or high level disruption in lessons with a lack of pupil engagement.
  2. Lack of self-discipline or respect for staff and one another.
  3. Pupils show negative attitudes about the value of good manners and behaviour.
  4. Attendance is consistently low for all or a group of students with no sign of improvement.
  5. A significant number of students don’t know how to live healthily – physically and emotionally.
  6. Frequent incidents of bullying or discriminatory behaviour.
  7. Lack of confidence in the schools’ ability to tackle bullying.
  8. Pupils or a particular group of pupils do not feel safe in school.

That’s a fairly comprehensive list, and whilst many of these statements have been part of previous inspection regimes, this is explicitly relating to the personal development of young people which is a huge step forward – putting learners right at the heart of learning, where they should be, and indeed where any inspection regime should be too.


For many, it’s patently obvious that disruption in class, negative attitudes to learning, poor attendance, and incidents of bullying has a harmful effect on a young person’s ability to learn and to feel safe and well. Ofsted is therefore right to be challenging schools where any of the above is in evidence.

There are a variety of means to prevent these sorts of experiences but here are a few questions to consider as a starting point for work on personal development – partly in preparation for Ofsted but more importantly as good practice.

  • Is there a lead for PSD (Personal Social Development), as part of leadership team?
  • Is there a programme of work for PSHE education that involves pupils in the planning stage, using a needs assessment to identify key issues for young people? (NB this varies from school to school)
  • Has the curriculum offer been reviewed? Is the content of the curriculum a causal factor in the lack of engagement?
  • Is there a frequent and planned review of pedagogy?
  • Are there opportunities for CPD in pedagogy that links directly to behaviour management?
  • Are pupils asked to evaluate their lessons, thus engaging them in the implementation and monitoring process?
  • Is there a class and school charter for behaviour developed with young people– not imposed and without negatives (i.e.DO rather than DO NOT)?
  • Does every young person have a behavioural target as well as academic targets for the term/year with opportunities for regular review?
  • Is the rewards and sanction policy working, and is there a clear emphasis on rewards?
  • Is the environment, external and internal, engaging and conducive to learning?
  • How are incidents of bullying managed? Are young people involved in the process?
  • How are young people encouraged to live healthily? Is the environment conducive to physical exercise? Are the meals on offer providing the same message on healthy eating as lessons? Are there lessons on healthy eating?
  • Is there a regular audit of how young people feel safe?

If there’s a “no” response to any of these questions then a school could be in danger of “failing” in this category of personal development.

NYGE Ofsted

The new inspection framework is a sharp reminder that students’ personal development and wellbeing is of equal (if not greater) importance to students as their academic attainment. It’s somewhat bizarre that we’re still having to consider this as an issue this far into the 21st Century in Britain, but it seems we do. Perhaps a proper definition of a coasting school is one that achieves high academic success at the expense of the “personal development”, welfare and wellbeing of its students, or at any rate without paying proper attention to these key aspects of growth and development. We should never have tolerated an attitude that we find amongst some that the purpose of school is simply to drive up academic standards. We now need to work together, with the involvement of Ofsted, to identify where improvements need to take place and to ensure that no school is letting down its students in these key areas of their learning and development.


About 3D Eye

Gary Foskett and Clare Blackhall are educationalists, writers and consultants. We work with schools and other organisations who share our vision of how schools, businesses, etc should work in the 21st Century. We also run courses and contribute to conferences - speaking about our three dimensional model of intelligences and how schools, colleges and universities can develop the full potential of all their staff and students. We also offer consultancy for businesses and public sector organisations to support staff training and organisational change and development. For more detailed information read our blog at or see our website at
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