Schoolzone blog: What (not) to do when Ofsted descend

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27 Oct 2014

 

There's a lot of rubbish talked about what Ofsted expect to see when they inspect and teachers can easily waste time preparing unnecessary stuff for inspections as a result. Thankfully, Ofsted have provided some guidance for schools which means that we can all spend those precious few hours between notification and visit in making sure that we perform at our best.

Here are some of the main points:

  • You don't have to give inspectors a lesson plan - much less previous lesson plans
  • Individual lessons are not graded
  • Your school does not have to tell Ofsted your pay grade
  • There is no "amount" of work expected in pupils' books - nor on the amount of written feedback therein
  • Ofsted doesn't expect you (naively, perhaps!), or your pupils to do anything extra in preparation for inspection
  • Inspectors will expect to see that your lessons have been monitored routinely as part of the performance management process - but nothing extra.

Ofsted's full clarification here.

There are few teachers - or leaders - who will feel completely comfortable with an Ofsted inspection and we're all going to make sure that all the ducks are lined up at least.

What you should do to prepare

There is a new focus on monitoring pupil progress, since the abolition of NC levels, so one thing that is worth checking on, is that you feel confident that you know where all your classes are up to in the SoW and the you have some data you can show inspectors to prove that you are monitoring their progress. There's no particular measure you should be using and it's fine, for now, to be using NC levels, if that's still the school or departmental policy.

Quality of teaching is also very, very important to Ofsted inspectors. Check your performance management targets: what are your strengths and weaknesses? Improving weaknesses (and we all have them) is a long term business, so don't try to fix them during the inspection visit - instead, play to your strengths and avoid situations where your weaknesses are likely to show. This might sound as if it's pulling the wool a bit, but that's good advice from your students' point of view of view too - at least until you have improved them.

 

 

 

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