The deep dive is the method being used by Ofsted inspectors to explore the intent, implementation and impact of the curriculum in schools. But is the approach proving too much for subject leaders in our primary schools?

When Ofsted announced its new focus on the curriculum being taught in schools there was speculation about how exactly it would be able to inspect, convincingly, a school’s curriculum in two days.

The answer was the “deep dive”. It was acknowledged that in-depth inspection of every curriculum area was impossible in the timeframe. Selecting a few subjects and assuming they gave insight into all was the answer.

Now that inspection under the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) is underway, concerns are being raised that the deep dive approach may be putting undue pressure on primary schools – small ones in particular. Specifically, how can a subject leader in charge of perhaps three or four subjects meet the growing expectations surrounding curriculum leadership and the deep dive agenda?

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