Guide To Preparing For A School Ofsted Inspection
Preparing for an Ofsted inspection can be highly stressful for teaching staff, managers, and administration staff
When Ofsted inspectors visit a school, everything and everyone comes under close scrutiny. So, if you’re due a visit from Department of Education Ofsted inspectors soon, then here’s a helpful guide to make sure you’re ready.
What Happens During an Ofsted Inspection?
The Office for Standard in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is an organisation that is independent of government and is tasked with the role of visiting, inspecting, and reporting on the quality of schools, educational institutions, and care providers in the UK.
Schools are usually Ofsted-ed once every two to four years, sometimes more frequently if they are found to be failing in certain areas, in order to follow up on progress.
It used to be the case (before 2005) that the school would get two months notice before an Ofsted inspection and it would take place over the course of a week. Since 2005, the inspectors only give two days notice, which has recently been dropped to one days notice, before coming to inspect a school, which takes place over two or three days.
In actual fact, Ofsted can inspect a school without giving any notice at all. The lead inspector can inform the school with as little notice as 15 minutes, effectively arriving unannounced.
How Are Ofsted Reports Scored?
Ofsted apply scores ranging from one to four on different areas of assessment, before giving the school an overall score using the following rankings:
1 – Outstanding
2 – Good
3 – Requires Improvement
4 – Inadequate
If a school scores an inadequate rating in many areas, they may be put into “special measures” which means the school is considered not fit for purpose as it stands and requires support and input from the local authority to improve standards.
Preparing For Ofsted
Since the introduction of short notice visits, there’s not so much that schools can do to specifically prepare for the Ofsted inspection. What schools need to do is make sure that certain things are in place and up-to-date at all times, in case Ofsted decide to visit.
Here is a list of some of the main things that need to be considered:
- Quality of lessons
- Following the curriculum
- Good exam results or good progress of students
- Policies and paperwork should be up-to-date
- Data needs to be kept up-to-date and handled securely
- Safeguarding policies need to be in place and followed to the letter.
The Importance of Safeguarding and DBS Checks
It’s not unusual for schools to fail an Ofsted inspection on a technicality, such as having the wrong paperwork in place or not following procedure correctly.
One area that needs special attention prior to an Ofsted inspection is safeguarding. School management staff need to make sure that all teaching staff and relevant auxiliary staff have up-to-date DBS certificates.
Now you can apply for a DBS check online, and the process is very quick and easy. In fact, by using our online application service, you can get results within 24 hours.
If you have an Ofsted inspection coming up and you realise that one or some of your staff need new DBS certificates, then get in touch so we can assist you further.