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Coping With Ofsted

18/02/15

How do you prepare for an Ofsted inspection? Lynn shares some tips that might help you out. 

Picture the scene if you will – you’ve been working flat out, picked up you marking and you check your emails and it says “all staff are required to attend a meeting immediately in the staff room”. What goes through your mind – shock, panic, what now?

You go to the meeting to be told, yep, Ofsted is coming! It’s the official announcement of an impending inspection. What’s your initial feelings – elation, panic, terror?

Most teachers experienced or not feel these and then some so how do you deal with it?  As an experienced teacher I have some advice for you. In fact, most of this can be dealt with before they come. Here’s how to manage the stress:

These are all practical pieces of advice, and deliberately so in order to get through the inspection and maintain a sense of proportion and not heading off to the wine / whisky / vodka bottle!

  1. Be ready every day – have your routines and expectations and teach them to your students and stick to them.  I have seen many teachers shown up by Shona who announces to the inspector that lessons are not always like this
  2. Know your data – target grades, SEN, attainment data, Pupil Premium  etc. You don’t have to memorise, but you need to know who the students are. One solution is to have it in your mark book or on your seating plan – Ofsted inspectors always seem to have a built in antenna for this and are sure to ask you
  3. Know the school data and your place in the team. You also need to know about the department data – is it a good dept or a failing one? What are the priorities and how does it fit into the school development plan ? What about school data ? what was the dept contribution to the whole school data
  4. Know the school systems and procedures and how to use them. Ofsted will have a copy and will be checking
  5. Be ready for anything – have lots of differentiated activities and extra work ready.
  6. Know which pupils have statements and what the targets are within them eg Jonny’s target is to practise subject specific vocabulary – can you prove that you do this?
  7. Make sure that students know where they are and their progress towards their targets and how they are going to get there
  8. Get all marking done and updated – Ofsted inspectors are famously nosy especially if books are on the shelves. Guess which set they are going to pick up.

You see with some planning ahead, most of this can be done quickly and your experience will be a positive one. As a final word remember it’s a snapshot – treat it as such.

What are you tips for preparing for an Ofsted visit? If you would like to blog about your tips email Megan (mparsons@protocol-education.com) for more information. 

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