Ofsted school inspection 2009
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OFSTED School Inspection 2009. Inspection Cycle. ‘Good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools – most within 5 years, Interim Assessment after 3. ‘Satisfactory’ schools – most within 3 years BUT monitoring visits for some. ‘Special measures’ and ‘notice to improve’ schools – monitoring visits as before.

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Inspection cycle
Inspection Cycle

  • ‘Good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools – most within 5 years, Interim Assessment after 3.

  • ‘Satisfactory’ schools – most within 3 years BUT monitoring visits for some.

  • ‘Special measures’ and ‘notice to improve’ schools – monitoring visits as before.

  • Special schools and PRUs – within 3 years.

  • Annual Assessment for every school.

Notice of inspection
Notice of Inspection

  • 1-1½ days notice for most schools.

  • No notice if serious concerns about safety of pupils, as previously.

  • ‘No notice’ monitoring visits for some ‘satisfactory’ schools and OFSTED concern category schools – a four week window.

Before the inspection begins
Before the Inspection Begins

  • Inspection Service Provider (ISP) informs school by phone and asks for documents.

  • Lead inspector phones twice:

  • practical arrangements

  • issues emerging from the data/SEF

  • PIB sent to school by 4.00 p.m. on day before inspection.

Before the inspection begins1
Before the Inspection Begins

Inspectors “should be mindful that the head teacher will need to accommodate the inspection at short notice while still managing the day-to-day operation of the school”.

“The lead inspector should be mindful of any difficulties for the school marshalling evidence at short notice following the extended telephone call.”

(Conducting School Inspections,

paragraphs 15 and 16)

Ofsted questionnaires
OFSTED Questionnaires

  • Parental questionnaires – distributed the day before inspection, even if child not in school.

  • Pupil questionnaires – completed in school before inspection begins.

  • Staff questionnaires – completed by end of first day of inspection, voluntary, at discretion of head.

Inspection day 1
Inspection – Day 1

08.00 Lead inspector meets the head, confirms or updates arrangements.

08.15 Discussion of PIB with the head and SMT.

08.45 Team meeting: the lead inspector briefs inspection team; inspectors plan lesson observations.

09.15-15.30 Inspection activity; lead inspector updates head at least once.

16.00 Team meeting; head teacher or another member of SMT attends.

18.00 Inspectors have left the school.

Inspection day 2
Inspection – Day 2

08.00 Lead inspector meets the head.

08.15-14.00 Inspection activity.

14.00-14.15 Final lesson feedback to teachers.

14.15-16.15 Team meeting observed by head teacher: final judgements and grades; discussion about recommendations.

16.30-17.00 Feedback to governors, other senior staff and local authority representative if invited.

17.15 Inspectors have left the school.

School leadership and the inspection team
School Leadership and the Inspection Team

At inspection team meetings, the head can:

  • act as an observer;

  • suggest further sources of evidence;

  • comment on conflicting evidence.

Voluntary – head can accept or not, nominate SMT

Lead Inspector can deem it inappropriate

Lesson observation
Lesson Observation

  • Usually at least 2 joint observations: “If a teacher does not agree to a joint observation, this should not go ahead”.

    (Paragraph 37, Conducting School Inspections)

  • Up to double previous amount of observation.

  • Feedback offered to any teacher observed for 20 minutes+.

The evaluation schedule
The Evaluation Schedule

  • Full set of descriptors against the OFSTED four point scale for every judgement inspectors must make.

  • Judgements on the quality of learning give more emphasis to ‘attainment’.

  • Four ‘limiting’ judgements:

  • capacity to improve;

  • achievement;

  • equality and tackling discrimination;

  • safeguarding.


  • Very high priority – one inspector will focus solely on it during the first half day, included in number of areas of evaluation schedule, in staff, governor and pupil interviews, ‘limiting judgement’.

  • Single central record scrutinised first day – no chance to amend, poor service from LA not an excuse.

At the end of the inspection
At the End of the Inspection

  • Formal, final feedback session will usually be shorter, unless head has not attended team meetings.

  • Inspection reports will include more specific recommendations – monitored via SEF as part of Annual Assessment.

  • Inspection Service Provider should provide details of how schools can complete an OFSTED post-inspection survey.

Monitoring visits for satisfactory schools
Monitoring Visits for ‘Satisfactory’ Schools

  • Progress is judged to be static or in decline.

  • Between one and two years after the school was last inspected.

  • School informed at the start of a four week period and told to send the relevant documents to the ISP but will not be told the actual day of the visit.

  • The inspector will call the school about half an hour before he/she is due to arrive.

  • Usually lasts one day and involves one inspector.

  • Full inspection likely to be soon if progress judged to be poor.

Monitoring visits for special measures and notice to improve schools
Monitoring Visits for ‘Special Measures’ and ‘Notice to Improve’ Schools

  • Notice to improve schools – visit six to eight months after, the same ‘no notice’, arrangements as for ‘satisfactory’ schools, unless safeguarding reason for category.

  • Special measures schools – first visit four to six months after, normally one to two days’ notice, unless safeguarding reasons for category. All subsequent visits will be ‘no notice’, as for ‘satisfactory’ schools.

What can you do school representatives
What Can You Do? to Improve’ SchoolsSchool Representatives

  • Ask your head teacher to organise a full staff meeting to discuss the new inspection arrangements.

  • If additional classroom observations are proposed as a means of preparing for inspection, remind your head teacher of the observation protocol which should be in place in the school. If necessary, contact your NUT division office for advice.

  • If members have concerns about the conduct of the inspection, bring these to the attention of the head immediately. He or she should be urged to contact the OFSTED Complaints Helpline (08456 404040). In addition, seek advice from your NUT regional office.

  • If members wish the NUT to advise or act for them in making a complaint about an OFSTED inspection, without prejudice, you should contact your NUT regional office at the earliest opportunity, if possible, during the inspection or before the report is published.

What can you do nut members
What Can You Do? to Improve’ SchoolsNUT Members

  • Use the staff questionnaire and any feedback sessions with inspectors as opportunities to give your point of view. Challenge any points with which you disagree in a professionally assertive manner.

  • Exercise your right not to participate in joint lesson observations if you feel uncomfortable with having both the inspector and head teacher watch a particular lesson. Speak to your NUT school representative or contact your NUT division if you feel you are being pressurised to take part.

  • If you are being expected to produce special lesson plans or other documentation for inspection which you believe to be excessive, contact your school NUT representative or seek advice from your NUT division.

  • Inspectors are required to uphold a professional Code of Conduct. If you have any concerns about the way inspectors behave, you should alert your head teacher, line manager and NUT school representative immediately.