Cliffedale Primary School

Be the best that you can be

Personal Development

Ofsted's inspection guidance for Personal Development

Evaluating personal development

313. The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life. The personal development judgement is used by inspectors to evaluate leaders’ (including trust leaders’) intent to provide for the personal development of all pupils, and the quality with which the school implements this work. Inspectors will recognise that the impact of the school’s provision for personal development will often not be assessable during pupils’ time at school.

314. At the same time as the school is working with pupils, those pupils are also being influenced by other factors in their home environment, their community and elsewhere. Schools can teach pupils how to build their confidence and resilience, for example, but they cannot always determine how well young people draw on this. Schools are crucial in preparing pupils for their adult lives, teaching them to understand how to engage with society and providing them with plentiful opportunities to do so. In this judgement, therefore, inspectors will seek to evaluate the quality and intent of what a school provides (either directly or by drawing on high-quality agencies and providers, for example the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, Cadet Forces and the National Citizenship Service), but will not attempt to measure the impact of the school’s work on the lives of individual pupils.


315. This judgement focuses on the factors that research and inspection evidence indicate contribute most strongly to pupils’ personal development. These include how the school:

  • ensures that curriculum subjects such as citizenship, RE and other areas such as personal, social, health and economic education, and relationships and sex education, contribute to pupils’ personal development – including by considering the provision, quality and take-up of extra-curricular activities offered by the school

  • develops pupils to become responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to play their part and become actively involved in public life as adults

  • through the curriculum, assemblies, wider opportunities, visits, discussions and literature, develops and deepens pupils’ understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, and mutual respect and tolerance

  • promotes equality of opportunity so that all pupils can thrive together, understanding that difference is a positive, not a negative, and that individual characteristics make people unique. This includes, but is not limited to, pupils’ understanding of the protected characteristics and how equality and diversity are promoted

  • ensures an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, and where no discrimination exists, for example in respect of wider opportunities for pupils

  • develops pupils’ characters, which we define as a set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs pupils’ motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others. This gives pupils the qualities they need to flourish in our society

  • develops pupils’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy

  • enables pupils to recognise online and offline risks to their well-being – for example, risks from criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism – and making them aware of the support available to them

  • enables pupils to recognise the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media

  • develops pupils’ understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle, including giving ample opportunities for pupils to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities

  • develops pupils’ age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationships and sex education

  • supports readiness for the next phase of education, training or employment so that pupils are equipped to make the transition successfully, including, for secondary schools, through careers information education, advice and guidance

  • in special schools, enriches the curriculum, taking into account specific factors such as the local area’s arrangements for providing home-to-school transport for children with SEND

Kapow document mapping personal development, SMSC and British Values