HMI Dr. Chris Jones has been a member of the #iwill Education Steering Group since 2017. Here he outlines Ofsted’s perspectives on youth social action and how the new proposed inspection framework will help recognise more schools, education and training providers for supporting their students to participate.

Since 2014, Ofsted has worked with Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign to highlight examples of effective social action practice in schools, colleges and other education providers.

Children and young people benefit from learning activities and experiences that help them to develop their character, confidence and resilience. Where social action works well, children and young people deal with real and current issues in their local community and their immediate environment. They learn by planning activities, by being actively involved, by reflecting on what they have learned and integrating that learning into other areas of the curriculum.

The inspection framework emphasises the need for schools, education and training providers to give children, young people and adults access to a curriculum that is rich in personal development that enables them to contribute to wider society and life in modern Britain.

We recognise that children and young people are influenced by factors in their home environment, their community and elsewhere. By providing their pupils and students with plentiful opportunities to get involved in social action projects, schools, colleges and other providers can use the wider curriculum to help children and young people develop character and resilience and become responsible, respectful, active citizens who have the skills and aptitude to be actively involved in public life as adults.

Ofsted’s consultation on the proposed education inspection framework 2019 is now live and open until the 5 April 2019.  The #iwill Education Steering Group are developing a shared response on the framework and will be circulating to our broader partners in mid-March. We would love for you all to incorporate these messages about youth social action within your own responses too. You can read and respond to the consultation here.