At the end of an Ofsted inspection the provisional grade is revealed at a feedback meeting. The draft report is sent to the school so that any factual errors may be rectified before the final report is issued. There have been instances where attendance at the feedback meeting has been restricted and other instances where the provisional grade was revealed to only those governors who were present at the feedback meeting. Many of us, including Shena Lewington, had been asking Ofsted to clarify that all governors can attend the feedback meeting, know the provisional grade and have access to the draft report.
Sean Harford, in response to a comment I made on his blog, clarified this. This clarification has now been included in the final version of the School Inspection Handbook, effective from 1st September 2015 which has made Shena, myself and I’m sure other governors extremely happy. The relevant parts of the Handbook are as below.
- The on-site inspection concludes with a final feedback meeting with the school. Those connected with the school who are likely to attend include:
- the headteacher and other senior leaders agreed by the lead inspector and headteacher
- the chair of the governing body, board of trustees or local governing body as appropriate and as many governors as possible
- in an academy that is part of a multi-academy trust, at least one representative of the board of trustees
- a representative from the local authority (for maintained schools) or academy sponsor and/or the designated responsible body.
- During this meeting, the lead inspector will ensure that the headteacher and governors are clear:
- about the provisional grades awarded for each key judgement; sufficient detail must be given by the lead inspector to enable all attendees to understand how judgements have been reached and for governors to play a part in beginning to plan how to tackle any areas for improvement
- that the grades are provisional and so may be subject to change as a result of quality assurance procedures or moderation and must, therefore, be treated as restricted and confidential to the relevant senior personnel (as determined by the school); they must not be shared beyond the school’s leadership team and governors (including those unable to attend the final feedback meeting); information about the inspection outcomes should be shared more widely only when the school receives a copy of the final inspection report
- that the main findings of the inspection and the main points provided orally in the feedback, subject to any change, will be referred to in the text of the report, although the text of the report may differ slightly from the oral feedback
- about any recommendations for improvement
- about the reasons for recommending an external review of governance and/or an external review of the use of the pupil premium (where applicable) and reference to the fact that this will be followed up at the next inspection
- that, on receipt of the draft report, they must ensure that the report remains restricted and confidential to the relevant senior personnel (as determined by the school, but including governors) and that the information contained within it is not shared with any third party or published under any circumstances
- Inspection reports will be quality-assured before Ofsted sends a draft copy to the school. The draft report is restricted and confidential to the relevant personnel (as determined by the school), including those responsible for governance, and should not be shared more widely or published
So, there you have it! If someone says you can’t attend the feedback meeting, find out the provisional grade or read the draft report, you can quote the Handbook and tell them they are wrong. You must, however, remember that the provisional grade and the draft report have to remain confidential to the senior personnel and governors till the release of the final report.