Short School Inspections

Since September 2015, Ofsted have been carrying out a new form of inspections ‘Short Inspections’. As it says on the tin, they are are short and focused.

Who gets one?

All good maintained schools and academies.

It is generally the case that most good schools and providers stay good from inspection to inspection. A short inspection provides confirmation to parents, employers and students that the establishment continues to flourish. It also reduces the burden that a full inspection places on good schools as well as providing the opportunity of recognising improvement to outstanding or decline to RI sooner.

Key messages

  • Short inspections are carried out by HMI
  • Focus is on dialogue, feedback, the quality of leadership and it’s capacity to continue to drive improvement
  • Two judgements only – is the schools till good and is safeguarding effective?
  • If school is deemed to have improved or declined a full inspection under Section 5 will be arranged.

What happens?

  • Call to school day before for short conversation
  • HMI will decide on key inspection trails based on previous Ofsted report, inspection dashboard*, Parent view, any complaints, school website, LA safeguarding report
  • HMI arrives 8.00 the next day & has extended meeting with senior leaders to discuss lines of inquiry based on hypotheses that school is good.
  • Inspection activities of visiting specific classes and specific examples.
  • HT or senior leader with HMI most of the day to prove the school is still good and to share strengths and areas for development.
  • Discussions with governors, middle leaders and pupils.
  • Decision made by mid afternoon. If good – summary evidence form completed together with letter to the school. If more evidence is needed or there is evidence of improvement of decline the short inspection will be converted to a full inspection under Section 5 which will take place the next day

What is the difference?

  • Separate handbook Section 8
  • Looking a specific threads not the full set of judgement as in Section 5
  • Greater emphasis on dialogue and feedback. Golden thread throughout about the impact of leaders and governors in key areas
  • It is a bespoke model with lines of inquiry for specifics of the school
  • HMI will no longer ask for data. They are now looking at information and this can be provided in any format.

These short inspections are being described as a different kind of inspection. As usual, we will have to wait to see the outcomes to judge whether they are useful to all parties.

Have you had a short inspection? Tell us your tale

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