How to Prepare for an Ofsted Inspection

May 05, 2023

When you’re notified that Ofsted will be conducting an inspection on your school, it can be particularly daunting, especially if you don’t know what to expect.

However, it’s important to remember that the aim of an Ofsted inspection is to identify areas for improvement, and provide support to help your school achieve these goals.

Although schools are generally only notified of an inspection on the day before they plan to visit, with the right preparation in place, you can ensure your school is ready no matter when they decide to inspect.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know to get ready for the Ofsted inspection, including your role as an educator, the types of documents they want to see and some potential questions they will ask.

Short Term Preparation for Ofsted

If you’ve just been notified that Ofsted will be visiting your school tomorrow, there are some things you will need to prepare at the ready, including documents and answers to any questions they may ask.

What Documents will Ofsted Ask to See?

While you won’t have to prepare anything extra for the inspection, you will need to provide the following documents to Ofsted, so it’s best to have them at the ready as soon as possible.

Information needed before the inspection:

Information that will be requested for the start of the inspection:

What Types of Questions will Ofsted Ask?

Ofsted Questions about Education Quality

Ofsted Questions about Curriculums

Ofsted Questions about Pupil Reading

Ofsted Questions about Cultural Capital

Ofsted Questions about Behaviour and Attitudes

Ofsted Questions about Health and Safety

Ofsted Questions about Leadership and Management

Ofsted Questions about Safeguarding

Ofsted Questions Regarding Parents

Ofsted Questions about Personal Development

Long Term Preparation for Ofsted

All schools know they will be visited by Ofsted at some point, so it’s important to be ready well in advance with some long term preparation. Ideally, this should be started as soon as possible.

Know the Ofsted Process

Become familiar with the Ofsted inspection process so that you can ensure your school is meeting the required standards. This includes what Ofsted expects from schools and how they will be assessed.

Make sure you understand the four key areas that Ofsted inspects: the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Gather Evidence

As we mentioned in the short-term preparation, in order to demonstrate that your school is meeting the required standards, you'll need to provide evidence. This might include lesson plans, pupil progress data, records of safeguarding and child protection, and evidence of staff training and development.

To make it as simple as possible to gather this information quickly. It is essential for you to keep records up to date and organised so that you can easily access it when needed.

Review your Curriculum

Ofsted will be looking at the quality of education in your school, which includes the beating heart of any school: the curriculum. Review your curriculum to ensure that it meets the needs of your pupils, helping them to become future geographers, mathematicians, historians or authors.

Make sure that your curriculum is cohesive and well structured, providing opportunities for pupils to develop their knowledge and skills. By knowing what your curriculum plans are and why, you can give confidence to inspectors when they ask questions about the topic.

Focus on Teaching and Learning

Ofsted will be looking at the quality of teaching and learning in your school. Ensure that your teachers are providing high-quality lessons and that they're using a range of teaching strategies to engage and challenge pupils. You may want to consider peer observations or learning walks to ensure that teaching is consistently good across the school.

Part of high quality teaching includes digital transformation (DX). Digital Transformation is designed to provide students with more flexible and interactive ways of learning to meet their individual needs, as well as preparing them for the real-world, where technology is constantly developing.

However, according to the Department for Education, just 9% of UK schools are classed as being ‘digitally mature’.

Just 9% of UK schools are classed as digitally mature

How Can Schools Become More Digitally Mature?

In order to further transform schools to make them more digitally mature, the PPT framework can be implemented:

People do the work.

Processes make this work more efficient.

Technology helps people do their tasks and automates processes.

This framework is often compared to a three-legged stool; if one leg is shorter or longer, the whole stool loses its balance and becomes wobbly.

How DMS Can Help Your School Become Digitally Mature

While it is the responsibility of staff to manage the People and Processes aspects, DMS can provide the ultimate technology solution for your school.

You can never overstate the importance of great tech and tools in building future-ready schools.

Once a school’s objectives have been articulated, processes defined and staff trained, the technology can catalyse the school’s growth.

The DMS Digital group specialises in offering a wider range of IT services, managed print solutions, audio visual services and document management for schools and other educational organisations.

Our experience working with schools and colleges means we’re able to fully understand and appreciate your unique requirements and work with you to maximise cost savings whilst exploiting every opportunity to improve your document production process.

Many schools strive for the best educational outcomes whilst facing funding pressure and growing class sizes. At DMS, we work with educational establishments to develop robust, cost-effective print infrastructures for the creation of high quality printing materials. We also support the move to digital education, with displays, whiteboards, door and visitor management and cybersecurity.

For more information about our bespoke technology packages, contact our team today.

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