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Preparing for an Ofsted inspection

Posted on: Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Ofsted inspections are something that strikes fear into the heart of many schools. However, it needn't be that way.

As long as schools make basic preparations ahead of the visit, then there is no reason to get into a panic, unless there are significant failures in the educational achievement of the pupils who attend.

However, in addition to the usual goals of improving the grades of students, there are many ways in which a school can get ready for an Ofsted inspection.

Presenting a smart appearance

This may seem like a fairly obvious point, but first impressions count for everything. Even if every child was getting straight A's, it would still reflect badly if the school appeared dirty and unhygienic.

Therefore, head teachers and staff members should work together to ensure the building is as clean and presentable as it can be.

This is also important from a productivity and health and safety point of view.

Classrooms should be tidy and well-organised, with everything filed away in the correct place.

Hallways also need to be clean and clear of obstructions. Staff members should take steps to ensure there is no litter lying around in the playground and that exterior windows and buildings are presentable.

Particular attention must be paid to the canteen, which should be cleaned on a regular basis to cut down on the risk of food poisoning or accidents.

Paperwork

Ensuring all paperwork is in good order is also important. Staff members should be able to produce class lists showing pupils’ names and national curriculum year groups, as well as plans, timetables and schemes of work. Of course, records of children's educational achievements need to be stored securely.

Professionalism

The presentation of pupils and teachers is another reflection on the school. For this reason, schools should ensure that parents and teachers are involved in the preparations for the inspection, so all pupils are aware of the necessity to look presentable. It is also a good idea to enforce uniform rules and conduct inspections before the Ofsted visit.