What Are Ofsted Inspections?
Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education. It is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the inspection of all schools and other educational organisations in England.
The frequency of inspection is determined by how good a school is. ‘Good’ schools are inspected within five years of their last inspection, and ‘Outstanding’ schools (except special schools, pupil referral units and maintained nursery schools) are exempt from inspection.
However, since September 2015, ‘Good’ schools have had shorter, more frequent inspections every three years. Schools that have an ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’ judgement are inspected more often, with inspectors monitoring their progress on a regular basis.
Normally, schools get half a day’s notice of a full inspection, but Ofsted has the power to go into schools without any notice if it considers it necessary. This could be if they have received concerns about a school, possibly from a parent.
Usually, inspections last for two days, although the new inspection framework means that ‘Good’ schools will have one-day inspections. The number of inspectors varies depending on the size and type of a school, but the team will include Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and/or contracted Ofsted inspectors – normally practising headteachers and deputy heads.
Before the inspection, the inspectors gather information about the school by reading the previous Ofsted report, reports of any interim monitoring, any complaints that have been raised about the school, academic data, information about funding, and information from the school’s website. They also send a letter to parents inviting them to share their opinions about the school on Ofsted’s Parent View website.
During the inspection, inspectors will observe lessons, check records and gather a range of evidence to inform their judgements, including speaking to staff, governors, pupils and parents and scrutinising pupils’ work. Through these activities inspectors are able to build a clear picture of what life is like at the school and how well pupils are learning. The main focus is on teaching and learning; inspectors will sit in on lessons, look through children’s books and talk to them about not just their understanding, but also how engaged they are in their learning.
Schools receive a judgement for each of the four inspection areas, and an overall judgement. There are four categories: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement (previously Satisfactory) and Inadequate.
The school was last inspected on 23rd & 24th October 2012 and was awarded an overall rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ for the Behaviour & Safety of pupils’.Please click to see our Ofsted Report.
Below are some of the comments from the inspection report:
- This very small school creates an atmosphere where families are well supported. Consequently, pupils feel safe and their behaviour is exemplary
- Parents and carers are overwhelmingly supportive of the new head teacher. They praise the quality of education provided for their children
- The quality of teaching is good overall and, as a result, pupils make good progress and achieve well
- The Head teacher has high aspirations for the school. She leads a dedicated team and ensures that every member of staff contributes to the raising of standards