What to Expect from an Ofsted Inspection


The call was passed through to me on Monday afternoon at 12:15 and I was informed a team of three Ofsted inspectors would be in at 8am the next morning. My trusty note book was at the ready and a range of well-charged pens to make a note of every aspect of the conversation. The lead inspector asked a range of questions about the practicalities of the inspection but did not ask about specific key areas for action. I referred the lead inspector to the key documents available on the website to ensure she had an opportunity to see we were fully compliant with the website regulations.

Our Ofsted notification plan was then engaged; this is a checklist to ensure all procedures are carried out and those who need to be informed are duly contacted. After the phone call your mind is filled with a thousand thoughts and the simplest and most important jobs can be easily missed. Preparation is key here, forewarned is forearmed. 

The lead inspector then asked whether we had a SEF. After a merry dance similar to the types of statements read by car insurers about liabilities as she insisted that ‘Ofsted did not require a SEF but that it would be great if there was one to see’. I told her there was a SEF and that I would forward this in due time (this allowed me time to undertake a final review with my Deputy prior to uploading to the Ofsted portal).

We talked about practicalities of parental and staff questionnaires (staff questionnaire is optional but I feel it gives an adverse message to the team if you refuse to complete one!). I also informed the team that I had undertaken our own parental questionnaire and insisted this would also be shared with the team to accompany Parentview.

As the phone clicked down after the conversation with the lead inspector I breathed in and with my next breath out, called in the Senior Team. For us, that is three team leaders, my Deputy, PA and Business Manager. At this point we went through the checklist to ensure all roles and responsibilities were affirmed. We also affirmed our five key areas for action in the Improvement Plan and asked SLT to inform their staff teams. I felt it was important to inform the teachers and TAs straight away to ensure all teaching, marking, class prep and school prep was sharp during the afternoon as nobody had time to catch up before 8am the next morning.

I then met with my deputy and we went through the SEF one more time, ensuring our action from our Key Objectives were evidenced clearly with impact made and next steps outlined. I needed the team to see that we knew where we are and where we were going with snippets of evidence that we were on track to achieve the objectives.

I then uploaded this to the Ofsted portal and booked in two of my most astute and active governors to speak with the team.  I briefed them and sent them a copy of the SEF.

Then the task of ensuring all the key documents requested were provided. These are listed in the Framework for Inspection on page 13-14. Most of this was ready in the grab file and the rest was printed. My Deputy went though all plans with teachers to ensure they were teaching to their best capacity and any special arrangements were raised (such as swimming which we continued). We also booked in our ICT technician to be present in school for the duration of the inspection as the last thing we wanted was an IT meltdown... 

This article was originally posted here: http://chizkent.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/pedagogical-ramblings-on-ofsted-call.html

So how did the inspection go? Find out with the next part of What to Expect from an Ofsted Inspection: A Headteacher's Guide.

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