Ofsted Questions for Governors

This is a Google document which I have shared with everyone. Please feel free to add to it. The questions on this document are from various sources. Some have come from conversations I’ve had with governors on Twitter and in person. Some of the questions have been contributed by governors. @cherrylkd has written a post on this topic upon my request.

Andy Scotland has written an Ofsted skills and knowledge gap analysis which was posted on the Primary Blogging site. 

In this post I’ve written about a Chair of Governor’s experience of a short inspection.

This was shared on twitter by a Deputy Head whose school was inspected under the 2019 framework.

Thank you to all who have contributed in one way or another.

18 thoughts on “Ofsted Questions for Governors

  1. Chris Wesley

    Where do I begin?
    The School returned after our Easter break on a four day week and at midday on Wednesday came the call a mere 14 months since the last vist which despite all of the efforts of the Ofsted team to put us into a catageory we scraped an RI…..
    We were more than a little surprised at this visit’s timing but I won’t go into my theories here….

    As Chair I shelved everything and made myself available for the entire visit.
    I was present when they arrived and I was pleasantly surprised that the ‘team’ were approachable but had the air of efficiency written all over them….
    The second day was the agreed meeting with Governors and I attended with our SENCO governor and a Parent governor.
    (The SENCO governor had been a teacher at school before Easter and had left to be a specialist and had been retained as a community governor and the Parent governor is a 1st year governor)
    The questioning was very thorough, though fair.

    The opening question:
    1. What are the Strengths of the school?
    Followed by:
    2. What are the weaknesses?
    3. What are you weakest areas in school? And what are you doing to see that improvements are being made?
    4. What can you tell me about Safeguarding? Who is responsible in school? Who is contacted and when should an issue arise?
    5. Who on the Governing body has responsibility for safer recruitment and how is that covered in interviews?
    6. How much Pupil Premium does the school receive and where is it spent?. How is it monitored and by whom?
    7. Can you explain how the Sports premium is planned to be spent and on what?
    8. What are the main foci of your SEF? And how is that monitored?
    9. Is the SEF discussed at every FGB meeting?
    10. How are the governing body challenging/ supporting the School?
    11. Are you canvassing the views of parents? How are you doing this and are you giving feedback?

    Each answer was further explored with supplementary questions delving into our knowledge.

    The meeting scheduled for approx 60 minutes overran to just over 90 minutes. We gave a good account of Governance and we were pleased with our input.

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  4. Colin Seabrook

    Vey much as above, with
    What do we feel the ethos of the school is (included in WW think are strong points)
    British values
    How do we know we can trust HT observation grades
    How do we contribute to SEF
    A s/guarding issue that had arisen, who dealt, who knew and outcome
    How we manage bullying
    Visits by Gov to see learning and how we check progress
    Gov skillset/experience – we had 5 Gov there with a really wide range.
    Attendance at Gov meetings, and how we dealt with Gov non attendance.
    Training Gov have attended
    Sharing good practice across gov bodies (we have a very good LA GBSU- Havering)
    How do we monitor pay increments and for HT.
    How we monitor progress by all groups particularly SEN/ESL groups.
    Language support for non-English speakers.
    Do parents know who we are!

    Luckily we had PP and SG and H&S and Finance Gov’s all present. In attendance were IT Specialist for top international banking group, Manager at an FE College, Ret’d RBS Snr Mngr, Ret’d business owner, ex-teacher with S/G specialism, one of whom is a very experienced CoG

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  7. Sarah Field

    We (Primary) were inspected under the new framework in December 2015 – started out with a 1 day inspection which converted to 2 day when there was sufficient evidence to show we might be outstanding (which we were, YAY!). Governors were asked to meet the inspector on the first day and 2 of us attended. Below is an outline of my remembering what we were asked….

    British values was a big topic – we do a lot of thoughts feelings work in school, have a value of the month (e.g. empathy, kindness) which went down well as well as community involvement.

    Pupil premium – how it was spent, how the children on pp do in comparison to others.

    How we make sure that what the head is telling us is right – triangulation with external sources.

    How we monitor pay and progression – links between the sdp and heads/teachers targets, including how we performance manage the head.

    How we monitor parent satisfaction – parent view/internal questionnaires.

    How well we knew the school – visits to monitor behaviour etc.

    What was our relationship like with the head – how we went about identifying and acting on issues.

    How we keep our children safe – safeguarding/PREVENT

    It was a very in depth discussion that we used to springboard into things like our local pyramid governor collaboration group. She then finished off asking about our vision for the school, where we wanted it to be. Then she went off to check that everything we had said was evidenced in the minutes!

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