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What happens if the head is out?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by skt107, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. skt107

    skt107 New commenter

    Just wondering...what happens if the head is out when the ofsted phone call arrives. I’m a new assistant head (no deputy) and the head is often out supporting other schools. I’m conscious that I want to be prepared with the new 90 minute phone conversation being implemented.

    I know the head would want to be the one that spoke to them if that were the case. Would they allow us time to make the HT available or would I have to take the call? What if the head was off with illness?

    Sorry if I’m asking obvious questions here! Just want to cover all bases...
  2. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    For my last but one inspection I was out on a course when the phone call came. The SBM explained the situation to the inspector and that she would get me back to school asap. I returned as quickly as I could and the inspector phoned me an hour later.

    If the HT was off ill then the inspector would probably speak to the Assistant Head. However, if I was the HT I would, depending upon the illness, get back to school pronto!

    The inspection will still take place unless there are extenuating circumstances.... generally HT absence is not one of them.
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Perhaps you and the HT need to devise a system for that eventuality. Make sure HT's PA, SBM and the receptionist(s) are aware of it as well.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    This is OFSTED's explanation in the 2019 Handbook. Looks like they will speak to you and not let you go and get the head back. But that initial call is mainly to give you information, it's not the inspector who calls it's an administrator.

    Notification and introduction

    49. Ofsted will normally contact the school by telephone to announce the inspection between 10.30am and 2pm on the school day before the inspection.

    50. If the headteacher is unavailable when the notification call is made, we will ask to speak to the most senior member of staff available. Once we have informed the school by telephone that the inspection will take place, we will send confirmation to the school by email.

    51. During the initial notification phone call, the inspection support administrator will check the number of pupils on roll at the school, the governance arrangements for the school and whether the school has any special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) provision, nursery provision for two- and three-year-olds or additional resource provision.

    52. The inspection support administrator will then send the school a note setting out key information for leaders to be aware of before inspection. This will include:

    ◼ Ofsted’s privacy notice
    ◼ informing the school that inspectors will use a range of technology to gather evidence electronically, including mobile devices, tablets and laptops
    ◼ informing the school that inspectors may request to take photographic evidence, for example of pupils’ work and displays, but that inspectors will not take photographs of pupils.
  5. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    As Rott weiler says, the first call is the information one-usually a 10 minute fact finding call. The longer, in depth conversation comes later! Last OFSTED visit ( we get them frequently :() I took the first call and then phoned the executive Head who was at our federated school-she took it from there!
    I have a crib sheet on the wall in case I get to the point I can't even remember my own name.
    Jesmond12 and Rott Weiler like this.

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