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should inspectors be allowed in staffroom?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by sep1, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. We had the call yesterday that we will have a full school inspection next Tues/Weds. My question may seem trivial but in previous inspections the staffroom has always been an inspector free zone so staff know there is somewhere they can go where there won't be inspectors present. I feel this is important for staff, however our new headteacher has said they will be allowed anywhere and can come into the staffroom if they need to find someone to speak to (prob so she doesn't have to come and find them). Does anyone know if there is any obligation to make this provision for staff or do we just have to put up with it? I think it will have a negative impact on staff's morale.
  2. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    I think your head is overplanning a little.
    I can see three reasons why an inspector may want to speak to a member of staff.
    If it's a formal situation (e.g. a co-ordinator interview), then they will have requested to the headteacher that the person is made available at a negotiated time by appointment.
    If it's a less structured situation (eg checking whether a member of staff is aware of the safeguarding policy), then it is unlikely they'd want to pin down a specific person (e.g. any teacher would do - they might pop in while you are marking your books or catch you in a corridor).
    If it's feedback, then the general rule is that you need to seek them out and ask for it, or that they will offer you a specific time.
    So the reality is that while she can't bar them from the staffroom (maybe you''ve hidden all the naughty children in there and got them doing the washing up?), they almost certainly won't appear in there. They will also be much more sensitive to employee rights (e.g. your right to a lunch break) than your HT is, as if they request that you do something and your HT doesn't like it, then the HT might complain.
    Unless the HT is proposing that the inspectors use the staffroom for their own facilities, I wouldn't worry - they are unlikely to appear in there at all.
  3. littlerussell is absolutely right. HTs will often say to inspectors that it's 'access all areas', but inspectors are uber-sensitive about intruding on staff's own time. In any case, the two days they are in are so full-on that they won't get a chance to go in the staffroom, even if invited.
  4. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Last year the inspectors came into the staffroom for a brief introduction in the morning. After that, they didn't come anywhere near during their two days. We were very pleased, as there was a massive stash of chocolate and biscuits on the table in the staffroom (not normal, I can assure you!) that the head had supplied and apparently the inspectors commented on it, saying we were supposed to be a healthy school. We all felt a bit miffed, because we'd been working 15-hour days in school that week, weren't sleeping or eating properly and sometimes you just need some chocolate!
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The nerve, the absolute *** NERVE!
    Reasons to hate Ofsted, number 1 million...
  6. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    The staffroom is yours, not theirs. You should be able to have somewhere to get away from them. After all, you didn't invite them, did you? Why don't you turn it round and just go into the room they'll be given and make yourself at home there and ask them some questions?
    You could ask them why anyone should believe a word in any Ofsted report when some of them are blatantly dishonest.

  7. Since 2009 school's have been so closely involved in the inspection process that whatever we might think about it, we can't seriously call it dishonest. The complaints procedure would ensure that any deliberate attempt to deceive through dishonesty would never get through. Not a chance.
  8. zinzan

    zinzan New commenter

    What a load of tosh - talk about sweating over the small stuff. Access to the staff room = dishonest reports. Get a life!, Access to the Ofsted baseroom is open and you have a nominee who is part of the team. Go in for a chat.

    Usual manners apply. If i need to see someone on the staff room I knock and wait and go in if invited. As for the biscuits, a passing comment maybe, chinese whispers probably and taken out of context. It wont have been in your report. Worry about the important stuff. The rumours and folklore will come from your own SMT not Ofsted, believe me
  9. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    We had our inspection last week and on the first day the team were in the staff room meeting with staff at lunchtime, at the Lead insepctor's request. All staff agreed to the meeting which lasted about 10-15 minutes.
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The staffroom is not a public area of the school - it's the staff's inner sanctum and as such should be respected by inspectors, who should not encroach upon staff's time at lunch time. They know perfectly well how stressful staff find inspections.
    As a head, if I'd had some sarky or prissy comment made about the provision of treats during inspection I'd have given it back between the eyes.
  11. I put the inspectors in my room with full facilities, so there was no need for them to go into the staffroom. Middlemarch is absolutely right. It's a stressful time and staff need a place to go where there will be no inspectors.
  12. I agree robby64. We had atwo-day inspection last Tues/Wed and the inspectors were far too busy to come into the staffroom. It was 'safe zone' and boy did we need it!
    Good luck next week honey.
  13. We had Ofsted in on 2nd & 3rd of Feb, and the first day they were there in the morning meeting the lead inspector told all staff that they would not come into the staff room, as they value the fact that people need private space, they were given use of a meeting room and never even used the toilets just outside the staff room, they literally gave the whole building a miss!
  14. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    Oh to have a staff room out of which we could be turfed. Count yourselves lucky guys.
  15. Room, you're lucky, we have a corridor if wet and mostly spend our days reciting timetables, writing text on chalk boards. You've never been so lucky. We once saw an inpector over the wall and we hid in Mr. Jackson's tool shed (ROSLA block). We hope to rebuild the ROSLA block next year after the fire but with the cutbacks we are paying for it out of ours wages, never mind at least we have a job. We are planning to get a cat to get rid of the rats (the children came up with some names but they were told to focus on a cat name instead). Just remember the saying "Those who can't teach......". Bye playmates!
  16. Corridors...times tables....rosla....fire....cats chasing rats...pop at ofsted.... When did Ronnie Corbett join this forum?
  17. meg7

    meg7 New commenter

    We had Ofsted this week. The inspector met us in the staffroom on the first morning, but said she would not come into the staffroom again.... it was our place to be able to let off steam. We invited her in later when she wanted to talk to all coordinators (small school, so whole staff) as it had the comfy chairs.

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