Preparing your school for Ofsted inspection is probably the most stressful part of a senior school leader’s role.  The whole process takes months of preparation, just in case you get the call that the Ofsted inspectors are on their way.

With some careful planning throughout the school year, the process can be made a little easier.  The new Ofsted component on the Reflective Teacher platform has been developed with experienced senior school leaders who have been through a number of Ofsted inspections.  With an extensive checklist against key criteria, it has been designed  to help schools prepare for their inspection continuously throughout the school year.  Users can check off their list and create tasks, allocating a member of staff to a specific action point to ensure they are Ofsted ready.

You can find out more about this new addition to the platform by contacting one of our friendly team.

Read on for some pointers below on preparing your school for Ofsted inspection.

Familiarise yourself with the Ofsted process

The Ofsted framework document gives you the latest information and criteria inspectors will be using to evaluate your school, staff and students.  Ensure your teaching staff are up to date with this and using it on a daily basis in their teaching and personal development.

Encourage continuous teacher reflection

By taking time to reflect and self-evaluate throughout the year, both you and your staff will be in a prime position to understand where the school is and how it sits against the requirements; what are the current strengths and how can other areas be improved ahead of any imminent inspection.  Create a plan for improvement and set some KPI’s so your team is clear on what is expected of them and how the school will measure the improvement.  Use your team and their strengths to implement the plan.  Including the whole team in a whole school effort will encourage their buy-in and ultimately produce a better quality of teaching and therefore better student and school outcomes.  

Create an inclusive environment for your staff

By demonstrating clear leadership and creating a positive happy and inclusive workplace, your team will be inspired by your example.  Encourage teamwork, accountability and open communication, and create a space where teachers can openly feedback.  Ensure your team feel like they have space to develop professionally and personally, and encourage them to share ideas and experiences with their peers.

Student development and support

Having a well structured and clear curriculum designed to match the needs of your students and promote their development is key.  Encourage students to have open lines of communication with their teachers and show you support their wellbeing with a supportive space they can come to.  Demonstrate that you promote a safe and inclusive learning environment with consistent teaching, and celebrate teacher and student successes.

Communicate with your stakeholders

It is important that your parents and the local community feel like they have good lines of communication with your school.  Regular communication face to face and by email or letter is a good way to show them that their opinions count and you value their input to creating a better place for students, staff, parents and the local area.  Ensure they know the school vision and what it stands for and promotes.  By doing this throughout the year, it means their input in the Ofsted inspections will be positive. 

Organisation and planning

Organisation and preparation throughout the year makes life so much easier when it comes to the inspection.  Using a platform like Reflective Teacher to make sure all your lesson plans, appraisals and are in one place, will mean you can access things easily on inspection day and saves last minute panic meetings and report writing.  You can rehearse inspection day with your staff, to make sure they are aware of the part they need to play.  Create a portfolio of evidence to support your school’s strengths and any improvements that have been made.  This could include examples of student work, lesson plans, policy documentation, staff development records and feedback, parent feedback etc.  

In summary, preparing your school for an Ofsted inspection requires careful planning, team collaboration and organisation throughout the school year.  Familiarising yourself each year with the framework and criteria, and creating a platform for continuous reflection and development will mean your establishment is well-prepared for any inspection that may lie ahead.  Using evidence to demonstrate the school’s successes, but also showing you know what needs improvement and have a plan in place, means you will not only impress the inspectors, and pass the inspection with flying colours, but will go a very long way to enhancing the quality of education and creating a positive environment for your students, staff and parents.

Contact us today to find out more about what the Reflective Teacher platform can offer you and your team.



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