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NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool©
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NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool©

New for 2019-20! A comprehensive tool to support curriculum review at whole-school or departmental level, with a focus on high-quality provision for more able learners and challenge for all.

The current focus on curriculum provides an opportunity for schools to test out their curriculum plans, asking whether plans are ambitious enough and whether they deliver the intended impact on learners. Key to this is considering whether the most able learners are reaching their full potential through the curriculum delivery. We know that if the needs of this group are being met, there will be a strong foundation for providing a good level of challenge for all learners.

New for this academic year, the NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool© provides schools with:

  • A clear structure for curriculum review;
  • A framework of questions to review the intent, implementation and impact of the curriculum;
  • Suggested evidence to support review judgements;
  • An additional focus on reviewing how well the curriculum meets the needs of the most able learners.

Early indications from the new Ofsted education inspection framework show a lack of challenge in the curriculum being identified as a key improvement area for some schools. This works its way into the classroom as work which is “too easy” for able learners and planning which takes insufficient account of what these learners already know and can do.

Similarly, in a recent thematic review Estyn highlighted that “Too few schools monitor and evaluate how well their provision meets the needs of more able and talented pupils rigorously enough.”

Considering whether school plans create sufficient depth, breadth and ambition to meet the needs of the most able learners, irrespective of the context, can provide an excellent starting point for whole-school review.

What is the curriculum audit tool?

Categorised under the three areas of intent, implementation and impact, the tool provides key curriculum statements, along with suggested evidence and questions to help leaders evaluate current performance against each statement on a 1-5 measure.

The audit statements are matched with the key curriculum aspects which Ofsted will consider in inspection.

A Welsh version has also been created. Written to enhance schools’ self-evaluation processes, it can be used with the current statutory curriculum 2008 and in preparation for implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales. This is available in English and Welsh medium.

How should it be used?

The tool is flexible. It can be used by school leaders, curriculum leaders and/or more able leads to support whole-school or departmental curriculum review, with a focus on more able learners.

Undertaking the audit will provide a picture of your school’s current position, help to identify priorities for curriculum and more able action planning, and support the review of curriculum and more able policies.

"I have found the NACE Curriculum Audit Tool to be an excellent resource for auditing our school's more able provision. At secondary level, it worked equally well as a whole school or as an individual subject review. It leaves you with a clear picture of your strengths and, more importantly, your areas for development." – Rob Lightfoot, More Able Lead, Haybridge High School and Sixth Form

Supporting consultancy

A half-day consultancy visit is available to support schools using the audit tool. This is designed to support school leaders in “walking through” the audit descriptors, providing clarification of the criteria and key questions where needed, facilitating discussion and providing support to identify strengths and key priority next steps. Typically, the meeting would be with an individual leader or a group of curriculum/subject leaders. It is helpful, though not essential, if the audit tool has been read by those attending in advance of the visit.

How to access the curriculum audit tool

NACE members: The NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool is available free of charge for NACE member schools. It can be downloaded from the section at the end of this webpage below the order form (only visible when logged in) or via our members’ resource library.

Members can also purchase additional support through a half-day consultancy (£550 +VAT) to help facilitate the audit discussion, by completing the form below.

Non-members: Schools which are not NACE members can purchase the Curriculum Audit Tool with an accompanying half-day consultancy for a total cost of £800+VAT. To find out more about NACE membership (starting from just £95 +VAT per year and covering all staff in your school), click here.


Terms of use: the NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool© is issued to current NACE members and to purchasing schools for internal use only; external distribution is prohibited.

To place an order for the NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool© with accompanying half-day consultancy, complete the form below.

Please note: members should only complete the form if purchasing accompanying half-day consultancy. To download the Audit Tool free of charge, simply log in and download the Tool from the end of this webpage (only visible when logged in).


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NACE Quality of Education Curriculum Audit Tool©

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A comprehensive tool to support curriculum review at whole-school or departmental level, with a focus on high-quality provision for the most able learners and challenge for all.
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