Ofsted's view of Learning Outside the Classroom

Acorn values it's membership of the LOtC, which actively promotes, encourages and supports the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning. School trips are a great way to achieve this and there are lots of other ways too. The LOtC website is a useful platform to gain ideas to help you with this and they have also produced some interesting information about Ofsted's views about LOtC, which you may find interesting:

Ofsted has produced a range of documents and case studies to demonstrate the importance of LOtC, and to support schools to develop LOtC opportunities for their pupils. A key document is the 2008 report Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go? This is a survey of a range of schools and educational establishments which examines LOtC in practice, and highlights what schools are doing well and where there is room for improvement. Key findings of the report include:




  • When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards & improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.
  • Learning outside the classroom was most successful when it was an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities.
  • The success of learning outside the classroom depended very much on the leadership of the schools and colleges.




Schools wanting to develop their LOtC provision should use Learning Outside the Classroom: How far should you go? as a starting point when considering curriculum development, as it offers practical advice and information on good practice.


The clear message from Ofsted is that inspectors want schools to shout about their LOtC activities, not do them as an extra or ‘add-on’ that is shelved when the call from Ofsted comes. If you believe in what you’re doing, demonstrate that to the inspectors. Speaking at the CLOtC national conference in 2011, senior Ofsted HMI, Robin Hammerton, declared that he wanted to see ‘inspection outside the classroom’ and challenged schools to “make sure inspectors get out there and see the innovative practice where it’s happening”.


Ofsted has also produced guidance on using the Pupil Premium for learning outside the classroom. We have referred this guidance in our handy document ‘Using the Pupil Preimum for learning outside the classroom’. Read the information document.


If you want to find out more about Ofsted’s view of learning outside the classroom, and how you can embed LOtC at your school to show excellence across all four pillars of the Ofsted framework, CLOtC offers a training course on LOtC and the Ofsted Framework. Details can be found on the CLOtC website:


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