Getting 'the call' from Ofsted is rarely met with joy (to put it mildly), but it doesn't have to be a moment of panic for school governors. Last week we hosted #ukgovchat and asked the great school governor minds of Twitter for their advice and wisdom on how to (or whether to) prepare for an inspection.
What Ofsted says:
@EdCentral @HarfordSean what do you expect to see from governors/trustees?
@HarfordSean The Governors' handbook is the best source for this
@EdCentral Thanks! We know you have been on a myth-busting mission recently. Any common myths for govs to avoid?
@PaulGarvey4 "Don't prepare for inspection' ℅ Ofsted. Madness.
@5N_Afzal Yes, go in with your papers as they don't expect you to memorise everything but don't "prepare"!
@SDPenny1 Indeed, if you haven't been doing it then you're not going to wing it the night before!
What key docs should governors read before they meet Ofsted inspectors?
@21C_gov Sef, latest data report, cohort summary
@5N_Afzal If we've been doing what we are supposed to then we'd "know" our school, the context. Take in papers in as aid memoire
@keiranmbellis Data, data and more data... LSIP, Year in year results, pupil progress, brick walls, PP finance info... to name a few..
@SDPenny1 Way before they meet, they read the NGA Govs Handbook and do what they're meant to be doing.....well!
@HarfordSean See the inspection handbook - 'clarifications for schools' relevant to all in a school, inc governors.
What sort of data preparation should governors undertake?
@mm684 I've heard of HTs who expect a "data team" of governors to memorise whole rafts of info.
@neilayates We ask 3 governors to convert data to lay speak. What are our strengths & areas for improvement ? No surprises
@SDPenny1 Everyone should really know the headlines tho? Similar for data and ie budget?
@neilayates We work on a cabinet model of governance. Individuals concentrate on one area but all should have informed overview of all areas
@mm684 Bet you don't exclude the rest from the meeting invite though
@neilayates Meant we have a small sub-committee to report to full GB some of whom struggle with data
Other useful advice:
@neilayates One thing. Sort the website out in terms of statutory compliance. One of the few things in our direct control
@keiranmbellis Share experiences with peers who have recently had insp and share thoughts but ultimately it's down to knowing own school
@neilayates Bingo Keiran. Governor collaboration lags miles behind HT and school collaboration in my experience. Finances demand better
@mm684 It's one of the main instances where the chair should show leadership of the GB and confidence in the HT/SLT.
@neilayates We need to end this irrational fear of inspection and treat it as a rubber stamp of what we do and say
@mm684 We collective have to remember we know more about our school and community than the inspection team.
@neilayates An inspection must be a validation of what we already know. If it isn't either we or the inspector is flawed. Suggest the former
@MrsNewbigging It's YOUR school - you know it (or should) so be confident but also feel free to show your passion for it - it's infectious!