Podcast: Subject reviews & deep dives

This podcast episode delves into the concept and practice of subject and curriculum reviews, often called “deep dives,” in secondary schools. It seeks to understand what these reviews are, their purpose, and how they can be conducted effectively without overburdening staff.


The discussion revolves around ensuring that the information gathered is both reliable and valid to inform improvement planning while minimizing the stress on subject leaders and teachers. The panel also discusses what kinds of information can be accurately gathered through these reviews, the types of questions to ask, and the pitfalls to avoid. They highlight the crucial role of subject and middle leaders and the necessary continuous professional development (CPD) for effective subject review processes.


The episode also touches upon how effective deep dives can benefit schools during Ofsted inspections under its Education Inspection Framework. It features expert insights from education professionals with extensive experience in teaching, leadership, and school improvement.


Hosted by Matt Bromley, the guests are:


  • Clare Duffy: Deputy Principal (Teaching and Learning and CPD) at Uppingham Community College in Rutland.
  • Paul K Ainsworth: Previously held director of school improvement roles in four multi-academy trusts and currently works with Infinity Academies Trust in Lincolnshire.
  • Matt Tiplin: Former teacher and senior leader in MATs and special needs schools, former Ofsted inspector, and now Vice-President of ONVU Learning.