Preparing for a successful OFSTED Inspection

  • Understanding the pivotal elements in successive OFSTED Frameworks?
  • What are the critical and distinctive elements in the current Framework?
  • How can schools use their SEF to launch a successful Inspection?
  • How strong is the school’s position in relation to Attainment, Achievement and Progress?
  • What is good or outstanding teaching and how can schools show that their provision meets these standards?
  • What falls under the umbrella of the behaviour and safety of pupils?
  • How can schools evidence quality in Leadership and Management at different levels?

Responding to an adverse OFSTED Judgement

  • Analysing the OFSTED Judgement
  • Identifying the full extent of the agenda offered in the Report
  • Identifying the priorities for action
  • Discussing the central issues with the Head and Senior Team
  • Writing a draft Action Plan
  • Discussing and reviewing the Plan with the Head and Senior Team
  • Assisting the School in the implementation of the Plan and monitoring progress

Pre-OFSTED Health Checks

  • Reviewing with the Head and Senior Staff or all staff the OFSTED Framework
  • Analysing critical data bearing on school performance and producing a Report
  • Considering lines of response to areas of potential weakness
  • Spending some time in school and in lessons as agreed observing and reporting
  • Discussing all perspectives with the Head and Senior Staff
  • Helping to prepare key staff for their own OFSTED interviews
  • Advising on how to prepare stakeholders for the Inspection and producing draft copy

Building self-evaluation to support school improvement

  • Why robust self-evaluation is a critical tool of school management
  • Collating the data and evidence base for successful SEF preparation
  • Writing judgemental self-evaluations linked to the OFSTED Framework
  • Using self-evaluation to inform whole school action planning
  • Using self-evaluation to enhance staff understanding and commitment
  • Using the SEF persuasively with Inspectors to influence judgements

Understanding the Social Context of Education Today: Change and Continuity

  • What have been the main currents in English education since 1988?
  • Social and economic change; the challenge to the traditional family
  • Attitudinal change: relativism and the challenge to authority
  • The impact of social change on children; persistence of disadvantage
  • What OFSTED has found about overcoming disadvantage?
  • The implications of social and cultural change for schools’ provision.

Building Common Approaches to Teaching and Learning Across the School

  • Why schools need common understandings on what is good teaching and learning
  • What are the salient characteristics of quality in teaching and learning?
  • Why is literacy of critical importance in pupils’ intellectual development?
  • How might the assessment of pupils become sustained and drive pupil progress?
  • How might teachers differentiate in lessons addressing both ends of the ability spectrum?
  • How can the questioning of pupils become something genuinely developmental?
  • What are OFSTED’s understandings and expectations on teaching and learning?

Using Data to enhance School Performance

  • Why data matters for schools and which data is most important?
  • What data needs to be interrogated in driving schools forward?
  • What data needs to be interrogated by middle managers/teachers?
  • How can comparative data inform a school on its relative standing?
  • How can schools best present their data within an Inspection?
  • How can schools present data which is unfavourable?

Building Strength in Middle Leadership

  • Where are we now and where do we want to be?
  • What has OFSTED found about departmental and middle leadership in schools?
  • What are the essential ingredients of successful middle leadership?
  • How can middle leaders promote good practice in teaching, learning and assessment?
  • What role ought data analysis to play in the work of a Head of Department?
  • How can the progress of the more gifted pupils be accelerated?
  • How can Middle Leaders evidence both management and leadership in their work?

Excellence in Pupils’ Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development

  • What do we understand about each of these aspects of school life?
  • What do we understand by moral education in a pluralist society?
  • How can schools promote pupils’ spiritual & cultural development?
  • What are the potential obstacles to successful provision in SMSC?
  • What does OFSTED say on how well schools reflect these elements?
  • Are the dispositions we seek to inculcate taught or caught?
  • How can schools’ procedures and expectations further SMSC?

Building a School’s Ethos and Corporate Identity

  • What is School ethos and why is it central to school development?
  • Why schools are in a uniquely strong position in building ethos
  • What aspects contribute to a School’s ethos and corporate life?
  • How can ethos be developed, marketed and perpetuated?
  • How can ethos be reflected in whole school provision?
  • How can Assemblies become critical to the dissemination of values?

Advising on and managing Headship Appointments

  • Reviewing a school’s current position and the candidate profile sought.
  • Preparing the advertisement and the promotional materials
  • Advising on applications received, shortlisting and taking references
  • Preparing a structure of activities and questions for the interview day(s)
  • Advising the panel on how best to proceed after the selection process
  • Mentoring newly appointed or established Heads

Performance Management to meet Changing Circumstances

  • What Performance Management expectations are placed on schools?
  • How can schools build systems to enhance teacher performance?
  • How can target setting be used to focus on individual circumstances?
  • How can Performance Management be linked to remuneration?
  • Can Performance Management be genuinely motivational rather than divisive?

Mentoring of Heads and Senior Staff

  • Advice to newly appointed or new in post Heads covering:
  • Building management structures and ensuring commitment and accountability
  • ‘Reading’ a School and its data and establishing immediate and longer term priorities
  • The importance of communication: with whom; why; when; how.
  • How to make meetings effective and motivational of others
  • Keeping abreast of and interpreting a rapidly changing national agenda
  • Relationships between Heads, Governors and other stakeholders.

Relationships between Heads and Governors and other potential conflicts

  • Exploring the different and yet complementary roles: defining spheres of authority
  • Communication between Heads and Governors: judging the information flow
  • Making Governors’ Meetings and Committee Meetings effective
  • Advising in circumstances of conflict or difficulty between Heads and Governors
  • Advising Heads on personnel and performance issues
  • Enquiring into and making recommendations on any form of internal school conflict
  • Managing ‘difficult’ staff; finding ways forward when these are difficult to identify

Considering and Preparing for Academy Status

  • What is the thinking and rationale behind Academy Status?
  • What is the educational and managerial case for Academy Status?
  • How do Academies operate: the role of Trusts and Governing Bodies
  • How to convert to Academy Status; what are the financial systems?
  • Academies and admissions, exclusions and reporting.
  • Potential lines of development in extending Academies’ influence.
  • Free Schools and wider implications of the Academies’ movement?

17. Budgetary Planning at a time of Austerity

  • Analysis of budgetary trends over three years and future projections
  • How are resources currently used in our school and in similar schools?
  • Is our model for curriculum delivery financially cost-effective?
  • How far does key stage expenditure match key stage income?
  • How does school staffing stand in relation to pupil numbers?
  • Are comparative studies helpful to us in our own budgetary planning?
  • What adjustments might better secure the school’s future financial position?

Andrew will be pleased to speak to Heads or school leaders to discuss particular circumstances and to advise on what might be the most suitable form of support.