Surviving the Ofsted Inspection
In this blog, Andy Reese, CEO of The Greenacre Academy Trust, Medway, UK, shares with Gemma Yates, our Teach In Overseas Manager, his top tips on surviving the Ofsted inspection.
First things first, what is Ofsted?
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages in the UK. It’s a non-ministerial department and it reports directly to Parliament. It is both independent and impartial. By law, Ofsted must inspect schools with the aim of providing information to parents, promoting improvement and to hold schools to account.
Ofsted does not exist here in Australia or Canada. However, there is much hype surrounding Ofsted in the UK & teachers can feel stressed out when a school has an upcoming visit from the Ofsted inspector.
We asked our guest Principal Andy Reese, CEO of the The Greenacre Academy Trust, Medway, UK, to share his words of wisdom, to help teachers cope when it comes to surviving the Ofsetd inspection.
Andy’s Top Tips
Ofsted nowadays is more about the Principal and Senior Management than the teachers. A good management team will use their experience to support and, in someways, to protect their staff.
Andy recommends that teachers must just go about their business in a normal fashion, as they would everyday. Another top tip from Andy would be not to prepare the best lessons ever, they’ll fail!
“Don’t prepare anything different to normal. If there are issues, they ought to have been picked up by Senior Leaders long before the inspector arrives”.
Ignore the inspector. Love this from Andy, but it is true. Be yourself, this is your class and you teach these pupils every day. Carry on in your teaching style. Make sure you don’t talk too much – rather get the children working. In addition, focus on child centred learning, less “chalk n talk”’, more and group / pair activities.
A sound teacher will successfully get the children to play a full part in a lesson observation, which allows the inspector to see their progress, behaviour etc. If you can see that the children are struggling, or are getting something wrong, stop the lesson and correct the misconception. Ensure that the lesson is pacey, time targets can help ie. “you have 4 minutes to ……..”.
Try not to over exaggerate the importance of the occasion, the inspector will be in your room for 20 mins max, that’s it. They might, on occasion, do a second observation, but rarely, especially if its known that you were trained overseas. If you are nervous, the children will play up. In the UK, we can often over inflate the importance of Ofsted inspections.
Finally, make sure you always ask for feedback from the inspectors. Ofsted inspectors may give you some input on your teaching. Of course, this will take up a little time & give you a breather.
How can Teach In support you?
Andy, and many more of our UK Principal’s, are very experienced in supporting young international teachers transition into coping with UK teaching. Teach In are committed to helping you up-skill and benefit from our on going support programme. If you want to teach in a school like Andy’s, click here to register with Teach In today. Start your UK teaching adventure.