Governors' role in monitoring the curriculum

Learn what Ofsted means by 'curriculum', how to know if your school's is good and how to challenge it to make it even better. See questions Ofsted might ask you and tips on how to think through your answers.

Last reviewed on 6 October 2022
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  1. Understand the role of the curriculum in the 'quality of education' judgement
  2. Remember that the National Curriculum hasn't changed
  3. Set up a committee 
  4. Find out how the curriculum achieves your vision
  5. Ask for regular reports on the curriculum and challenge them
  6. Make sure the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils
  7. Monitor the 'connectedness' of the curriculum
  8. Be prepared for questions Ofsted might ask you about the curriculum

Many thanks to our associate education experts Gulshan Kayembe, Hafise Nazif and Ian Preston for their input in this article.

Understand the role of the curriculum in the 'quality of education' judgement

Under Ofsted's 2019 framework, the 'quality of education' judgement is a combination of the previous 'teaching, learning and assessment' rating and the 'pupil outcomes' grade.

Inspectors look at a school's broader curriculum offering as measure of school quality, reducing the reliance on exam results. 

In practice, this means your school needs to be clear on the answers to 3 key questions:

  1. What are you trying to achieve through your curriculum? (Intent)
  2. How is your curriculum being delivered? (Implementation)
  3. What difference is your curriculum making? (Impact

Our article on how Ofsted inspects 'quality of education' goes into the judgement in greater depth.

Ofsted found that there's no common definition for 'curriculum', and schools use the term in different ways. So