1. Your school will be informed four to 6 days before an Inspection takes place. The Inspection will be two to three days in length. Most schools will be inspected for two days. Lessons are Inspected the first day and morning of the second. The afternoon of the second day will be set aside for feedback to the Head Teacher and Senior Management team.

The few days before the Inspection will be stressful and you will be under pressure especially if you have not prepared meticulously for it. Some Inspectors will be professional and pleasant, others will be officious and distance themselves from departmental staff.


2. It is common practice for the Inspectors to have meetings with Heads of Department and Pastoral staff. Senior teachers will also be seen. In a specialist college the head of department of the specialist subject will also be involved in one or more of these meetings. Staff will be questioned about many aspects of the schools policies and practices. This is to check that the self evaluation (SEF) written by the Head Teacher is an accurate reflection of the way the school is run.


3. The Inspection of lessons will start on the first morning. A range of staff will be observed throughout the Inspection period. Some staff will not be seen at all.


4. When meeting with the Inspector, a range of questions will be asked and it is our experience that exam results will be central. In fact WATT researchers feel that exam results are the core to the Inspection and if your departments results are poor or have fallen, the department will have to fight hard for a good Inspection Report. Very few departments that have results below the local/national average get a good or very good report even if the quality of the teaching is good. Be ready for this approach, which seems to target some departments. Have all your statistical evidence ready for this meeting and be ready to explain your answers in detail.


5. At the end of the Inspection, the inspection Team will meet with the Head Teacher and Senior Management and their Report will be delivered verbally. This is expected to be a general report on the school, the accuracy of the Self Evaluation Form completed by the Head Teacher and any other issues. The Quality of Teaching will be summarised.


6. At the end of the Inspection have an informal meeting with the rest of the department and discuss any feedback given by Inspectors as they viewed lessons. Give staff an opportunity to discuss the Inspection. Often there is a tendency at the end of an OFSTED week to try to forget the week but take time to discuss it with staff and applaud all the good points that have come out of the week.


FINAL ADVICE: Be pleasant at all times to the Inspectors, be prepared, sit and talk to all the department at the beginning and end of each day and be cooperative. Do not be in awe of the Inspector (remember, he/she left the classroom for their present position).