What school leaders need to know about Ofsted this year

By Toby Lester | 14th December 2020 | 13 min read

In our recent webinar, The return of Ofsted inspections, we explored what schools can do now to prepare for success.  

Joined by retired headteacher and trained Ofsted inspector, Janet Marland, and CEO and Founder of Angel Solutions, Andy Kent, we have ten handy top tips to share with education leaders on how best to prepare for potential Ofsted inspections. 

  1. Update your website: to save time, inspectors are likely to check your school website before their visit. It’s important, therefore, that your website is up to date with the latest branding, contact information, policies and resources.   
  1. Prepare for the call: don’t be caught off guard when the call comes through. You might find it useful to prepare any members of staff who are likely to receive the initial call with a ‘script’; rather than passing the call directly through, explain that your head teacher is busy teaching and will return the call at a more convenient time, giving them a little time to think and prepare.   
  1. Have information to hand: have resources and documents organised and accessible, so you can answer questions on the call – this gives a good first impression.
  1. Who needs to know: be prepared with a list of the key stakeholders and staff who you need to be alerted to the news, so no one is left unaware or caught out. 
  1. Check your diary: avoid last minute panics and check your calendar for any meetings which need to be cancelled or rescheduled.  
  1. Provide a parent voice facility: favorable views from parents are a huge benefit for your school, so give parents the opportunity to share feedback – this gives inspectors a great first impression before the visit and supports your parent engagement plan.
  1. Know your staff: an unexpected visit from Ofsted is likely to increase pressure on your already stressed-out team. So, identify members of staff who are likely to be feeling the strain and provide any additional support they need to navigate the visit with confidence.  
  1. Think of your governors: remember, this might not be their area of expertise, so avoid circulating large documents and resources. Instead, provide the information they need in a manageable and concise form; make sure they understand your strengths, weaknesses and objectives for the year.  
  1. Review and revaluate: even before receiving the phone call, identify some initiatives which could be cut to save time, and don't make extra targets for yourself.  
  1. Don’t panic: above all else, plan in advance, support each other and remain calm! 

Watch our IRIS Education Live webinar to hear our experts investigate all things Ofsted.  

To find out how IRIS Education can support you with everything from parent engagement to finance management, get in touch with our product specialists today.