Personal Development
Ofsted & Guide to Life

The personal development within schools deals with real-life issues affecting pupils. This includes their lives, experiences and attitudes relating to relationships, health and economic realities within the family and community they live in.

To demonstrate outstanding personal development, schools must give pupils access to a wide, rich set of experiences in a coherently planned way. Opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests are of exceptional quality, and there is a strong take-up by pupils. In particular disadvantaged pupils benefit from this support and provision.

Ofsted say:

 “The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life.”  

Ofsted’s updated inspection framework has now been published, with the inclusion of a new section for assessment: Personal Development. 

What Areas are Ofsted Looking For?

The areas of personal development that Ofsted are particularly looking for include the following:

  • Developing responsible, respectful and active citizens
  • Promoting equality of opportunity
  • Promoting an inclusive environment
  • Developing pupils’ character, giving them the qualities they need to flourish in society
  • Developing pupils’ confidence and resilience so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy
  • Preparing pupils for the next phase of education

What evidence is Ofsted looking for?

In terms of evidence, inspectors will be looking for:

  • The range, quality and take-up of extra-curricular activities
  • How the education provided develops pupils’ character
  • How curriculum subjects contribute to pupils’ personal development
  • The quality of careers information and guidance

How will Ofsted be Judging?

For personal development to be judged as good, inspectors will be looking for:

  • A curriculum which extends beyond the academic, providing for pupils’ broader development
  • The curriculum and wider work of the school supports pupils to be confident, resilient and independent
  • There is high-quality pastoral support within the school
  • Pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain, and understand how to be responsible, active citizens that contribute positively to society
  • Effective promotion of equality and diversity within the school
  • Students are prepared for future success in education, employment or training

How does Guide to Life help?

Guide to Life brings the Personal Development curriculum together and supports schools to evidence each pupil’s personal journey using the easy tracking system.

We’ve designed the Guide to Life to help children and adults get the very best from life, learning about themselves, other people and the wider world and gaining essential skills and qualities for a successful and happy life.

We believe that giving young people the opportunity to try new things and develop new skills is hugely beneficial. It helps children to grow in confidence, expand their understanding of the world around them, and introduces hobbies or passions that could last for years to come.

Using varied enrichment activities, challenges and experiences, Guide to Life aims to broaden pupil development, confidence, resilience and independence in the classroom and in the world. Using a combination of My Activity Passport activities, 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾, and the very best personal development techniques.

We know that many of the additional experiences you offered before COVID-19 will not be variable at the moment and that’s why we’ve created the Guide, and all the experiences within it, to be accessible at school, home, or anywhere else.

We have built a tracking system into the Guide to help you to quickly and easily:

  • Identify engagement and trends
  • Collate Personal Development evidence; individually, by cohort and whole school
  • Target areas for additional support

Why Not Get the Guide to Life?