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What to expect with Ofsted?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Hi,

    The school hasn't had the call yet, but they've been in the area and we are one of the only ones left (not going to name the school for obvious reasons).

    I've never had an Ofsted before, I'm a fairly new teacher (3 years). There's a lot of pressure on our school to get outstanding, they got good last time.

    I just want to know what to expect.

    The people around me are in such a panic and it's making me very anxious, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, etc which means if they do walk through the door I'm going to be exhausted before they start. I feel like there's so much pressure to have everything perfect.

    I personally think the school is amazing, strong leadership etc.

    I have never known such panic over some people walking into a school.

    Any advice, insight, whatever you want to call it, would be fantastic.

    Thank you!
     
  2. petaloutha

    petaloutha Lead commenter

    Keep calm and go about your business in the way that you usually do and make sure you know why you are doing what you are doing. The Ofsted team are only people. They are no more important than you are. They might think they are but you have to realise that they aren't. All this fear and panic is nonsense. Don't buy into it.
     
  3. zuba102

    zuba102 New commenter

    Currently same situation at my school, everyone is so stressed and we've had fake ofsted and more book trawls, learning walks etc. Than usual. I've also not experienced ofsted but if you do the right things all the time there is no need to worry- I know I regularly mark by books and plan great lessons so I'm not going to do anything different when they do come!
     
  4. petaloutha

    petaloutha Lead commenter

    Well said, zuba!
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We were OFSTED ded a few months ago. After the initial excitement we just "got on with it"

    We did well too and raised our grade by one notch.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Sorry, you're getting so much stress, but that's what education has been reduced too.

    I only have contempt for that organisation. They could stop schools doing mock Ofsteds but don't.

    We had one recently in our place (not in an official capacity) who commented negatively that we didn't display learning objectives. They were not even aware that you don't have to and that it is "absolute nonsense" (to quote Ofsted) to say that you do.

    And don't forget that when they used to grade lessons, two inspectors would be more likely to disagree on the grade than they were to agree. And at the extremes of outstanding and RI, the likelihood of judgements corresponding to learning gains was almost non-existant
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  7. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    All you can do is your best. They will have looked at what the school has said about itself and then look to see if this is really the case.

    You are a small cog in a machine, do your bit, that's all you can do. We're in the same boat; try to make sure you have everything in your control they best you can (e.g. wall displays, key words etc) so that when they do come knocking you don't need to waste time on things like that.
     
  8. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I completely agree, but who has the power? They also don't (according to the paperwork) expect a lesson plan, but who's going to take that risk and argue with them when you don't give them one!

    Ours is not to reasons why...
     
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Me. If you have it quoted straight from senior Ofsted people, then there should be no problem.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  10. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    I have always found the Ofsted and HMI teams perfectly nice and approachable as people. Just do what you always do and I'm sure you'll be fine. Anyway, as someone else has already said, they look at data first and then work backwards as any fule kno.:)

    edited to say I wasn't calling anyone a fool by the way, I was trying to be jolly
     
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Umm.

    They will have a preconceived idea (based on results) and will try to ensure there's no cognitive dissonance between what they thought on perusal of the data and what they see on the ground.

    Go about your business as usual.

    I never met an OFSTED inspector who could do much more than distinguish an ar se from an elbow. Who even does that? Goes round pontificating on other teachers? Who would want to? I like to think I haven't the conceit to judge other teachers.

    Different in days of yore. The aim was to advise you.

    Ignore them. They will go away.
     
  12. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Make sure your marking is up to date and follows the school policy. When the inspector comes into a lesson make sure you have a chair placed where you want them to sit and beside the student you want them to sit beside i.e. your best! Make sure you know who your pupil premium students are and discretely point these out to the inspector. The inspector will then make a beeline for those students because that's the latest bee they have in their bonnet; pupil premium and the progress of these students relative to others so make sure you're in the know about them.

    The inspectors do not grade your individual lessons anymore just the overall standard of teaching as they perceive it. Just do your normal stuff because if you do something really whizzy the inspectors will ask the students if this is normal and you'll be found out. Whether the school gets and outstanding or not will not depend on individual teachers, there are wider management issues that will determine the grade. Just stick to common sense lessons that you teach well. The inspectors are so pushed to get round all their observations that they'll just rush off at the end of an observation and won't take you to task for anything in the lesson. Just get on with what you normally do.
     
  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Are you calling me a fool? If this is your idea of jollity then I'll show you just how jolly I can be! You may be Wordsworth but if I get my hands on you I'll be shoving your daffodils right up your ar*e!

    (No offence, just being jolly ;))
     
    SLouise91 likes this.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Probably the worst aspect of our last OFSTED was that the kids did not support us in any way. We did well in the end but a lot of our students went out of their way to be awkward.

    It's the schools's biggest problem - far too many kids do not value their education enough.
     
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Two of them even decide they were going to have a brawl outside the room where the inspectors were based.

    We were not that bitter though - we just killed them.
     
  16. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I'm guessing if you and I did the 'what type of person are you' from one of the other threads, we'd come out as different types ;)
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I once had to meet one of the inspectors on my own. I was in charge of cross curricular at the time. He looked fatherly and said 'it's just a bit of colouring in really isn't it?' To which I gave him every piece of evidence I'd collected, along with all of my planning documents about how we were meeting the national curriculum in the five subjects I was responsible for (none of which was art!). He couldn't get a word in edgeways. I plan to do exactly the same if I have to meet them next time (although I'm back down to one subject)
     
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  18. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Quite right! Don't take any cr ap from them. Never meet an inspector on your own, always insist your head or deputy is present.
     
    gingerhobo48 and SLouise91 like this.
  19. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    I was quoting a fictional schoolboy called Nigel Molesworth, who, along with his chum Peason was in a series of books with illustrations by Ronald Searle. Stop being so Fotherington - Thomas about it all, Shed.
     
  20. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    The biggest prolem is SMT being on ofsted panick mode for 2 years before they appear. I think that this is a far greater cause of stress than ofsted themselves. Much of what SMT believe ofsted want they don't.
     

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