Preparing for a Section 8 (One Day) Inspection for Schools Previously Judged to be Good.
“Short inspections provide schools with the opportunity to share with the HMI how they are sustaining and continuing to improve the good quality of education for pupils.”
“The HMI will plan inspections so that leaders and governors have time to present evidence about key improvements at the school, their assessment of the current performance of the school and action planning that supports improvement.” Section 8 Handbook.
Many schools provide inspectors with too much information on a one day inspection. This can result in key messages being lost in translation.
In order to avoid this:
- Confirm the key improvement messages you wish to convey (referring to areas for improvement from your last inspection and your current school improvement plan).
- Present headline evidence of impact against these messages (end of Key Stages, including EYFS, and, if appropriate, Y1 phonics, attendance and/or exclusions).
- Underpin this with further evidence of impact in every year group.
- If you cannot show impact in all areas be clear about why not and what you are doing to address current barriers to progress, even if it is too early to show impact.
- Remember Ofsted are interested in the progress made by every child from their individual starting points, make sure you are clear about pupil progress as opposed to attainment.
- They are especially interested in the progress of disadvantaged pupils and those with high prior attainment.
- They will also be interested in the progress of any groups that perform less well in your school, what you are doing to address this and the impact on pupil progress, so far.
- Once you have presented the evidence of impact, you can then provide further detail of how you achieved this, if you are asked to do so.
- If you are not asked, it may be because the inspector is already satisfied with the evidence they have seen. Therefore, ask if they would like to know more before drowning them in surplus information.
- This could use up valuable time you may need to spend to demonstrate more detailed evidence of impact against an aspect of provision which they want to investigate further.
- Remember, if you run out of time, you cannot present any more evidence, no matter how much you may have.
- Short inspections of good schools will always report on the effectiveness of safeguarding, so you need to make sure your evidence base is secure around this.
Megan Stockley – Regional Manager