What Are Ofsted Inspections?
Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education.
It is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the inspection of all schools and other educational organisations in England. The frequency of inspection is determined by the outcome of the school's most recent inspection. There are four grades of overall outcome:
- Requires Improvement
A school which was outstanding at its last inspection is exempt from routine inspection.
Exempt schools will not normally be inspected unless there is a concern about performance. Ofsted will carry out an annual assessment of performance (from the third year after the school's last inspection). A 'good' school will receive a short inspection, lasting one day, every three years.
A school judged as requiring improvement will be inspected again within two years. If a school receives this judgement for successive inspections it will be monitored closely by inspectors before being re-inspected.
Normally, schools get half a day’s notice of a full inspection, but Ofsted has the power to go into schools without any notice if it considers it necessary. This could be if they have received concerns about a school, possibly from a parent.
Usually, inspections last for two days, although the new inspection framework means that ‘Good’ schools will have one-day inspections. The number of inspectors varies depending on the size and type of a school, but the team will include Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and/or contracted Ofsted inspectors – normally practising headteachers and deputy heads.
Before the inspection, the inspectors gather information about the school by reading the previous Ofsted report, reports of any interim monitoring, any complaints that have been raised about the school, academic data, information about funding, and information from the school’s website.
They also send a letter to parents inviting them to share their opinions about the school on:
During the inspection, inspectors will observe lessons, check records and gather a range of evidence to inform their judgements, including speaking to staff, governors, pupils and parents and scrutinising pupils’ work. Through these activities, inspectors are able to build a clear picture of what life is like at the school and how well pupils are learning. The main focus is on teaching and learning; inspectors will sit in on lessons, look through children’s books and talk to them about not just their understanding, but also how engaged they are in their learning.
At the end of the inspection, the judgement will be reported to the Headteacher and governors and the findings are published in a report for the school, parents and the wider community on the Ofsted website:
Our last inspection was on 8/9th March 2016. Here are some of the comments from the inspection report:
- This is a good school
- The leadership and management of the school are good. The headteacher is ambitious for the school and is striving for it to be the best. She is ably supported by the deputy headteacher and other senior staff.
- The quality of teaching is good. Pupils are making good progress in their learning throughout the school and are achieving at least the expected standards in most areas by the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
- Behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils demonstrate high levels of respect and are extremely considerate of each others’ needs.
- Early years’ provision is good. Children get off to a strong start. Children respond well to the staff’s high expectations and they make good progress.
- Pupils in the resource base make good progress as a result of the good teaching and the high-quality support they receive.
- Pupils have a positive attitude to school and enjoy their learning. Consequently, attendance is above the national average.
- The curriculum provides pupils with exciting opportunities to develop their curiosity and love of learning.
- Governors have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school.
They provide a good balance of challenge and support to leaders.
- Most parents speak positively about the school and are confident that their children are receiving a good education.