Whether we like it or not, Ofsted is a fact of life and therefore it would be best that we all were prepared for “the call”. The Inspection team will want to meet governors. You can take along as many governors as you like. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!
During the inspection you may feel as if you are under a microscope or magnifying glass.
Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If we have been doing what we should be as governors, then half the battle is won. Your minutes should be in order. They should record how you hold the school to account. You should know about teaching and learning and how various groups of students are performing. You absolutely must know how you spend your pupil premium and, more importantly, the impact that has had. Like everything else in life, being prepared is the key. Here are few things which you may want to do before you get the call.
1. Have ready a list of governors you want to take along to the inspection. Make sure you have their contact details to hand!
2. Your paperwork should be ready to be inspected. This includes minutes of your meetings. You should have a paper trail to back everything you will tell the inspectors.
3. Look at the questions I’ve talked about below and cross reference your minutes accordingly, so you can produce evidence when asked for.
4. Think of preparing a briefing paper for the governors who will be meeting the inspectors.
5. Don’t think you need to know all facts and figures off the top of your head. It’s perfectly acceptable to say, “The answer to your question is in the minutes of “Name of committee”, but then you should be able to open the relevant page and show it to the inspector.
Now for the actual questions you may be asked during the inspection. Be prepared to prove that your governing body acts strategically, holds the school leadership to account, asks challenging questions, acts as a critical friend and knows the school inside out through their own monitoring and questioning and not because that is what the Head has told them.
I’ve decided to create a document which lists the possible questions governors could be asked by Ofsted Inspectors. These questions are either the ones which people have said they were asked or those which I think may be asked. This document will, hopefully, in time become a resource for all of us. This is a Google document and can be edited by everyone. Please do add questions to it once you have been inspected. I’ve listed questions under the headings of Achievement, Quality of Teaching, Behaviour and Safety, Leadership and Management and General questions. The document can be accessed by clicking here. I’ve also created a Page for it so that the document can be easily accessed without having to scroll through the posts.