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No Notice Ofsted Pilot Inspection


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Have just survived the first HMI pilot no notice inspection in a primary school. They arrived Tuesday morning at 8.35am and were in Foundation Stage by 8.50am. Have to say it was very stressful as I had two observations over the two days and as a member of the leadership team had to come out of the classroom to help the head get all the evidence together. With a normal inspection you would be able to do that after school in the couple of days between getting notice and the insepction starting but with a no notice you just don't get the time. Most of our governors work so were unable to attend at 24 hours notice and parents only had overnight to complete questionnaires. Of course with the new pilot Section 8 inspections there is a lot more focus on EYFS so make sure you've got everything in place as you have to produce lots of evidence.

Well at least it's over, we survived but I wouldn't wish a no notice on anyone. I intend on doing no work whatsoever over half-term!!

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I'd like to say 'welcome to our world' but that sounds a bit harsh. As Preschool Manager I have experienced notice and no notice inspections and, although stressful at the time, I feel that the no-notice ones are possibly less stressful than running around for a few days like a headless chicken. They also show the provision 'warts and all', but it's hard if you are genuinely having a bad day. My Nan had just died the day before my last no-notice, and he did offer to go away and come back later, which was sweet, but we decided to get it over with there and then and got what he described as a 'solid good' across the board.

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Our last Ofsted was 2 years and 8 months ago. I understand what you are saying about running around but when you have a class and you are being pulled out to listen to the PBI and then gather all the info and evidence required whilst still trying to keep it as normal as possible for the children it was extremely stressful. I have no problem with anybody observing me at no notice as I don't think anyone should have anything to hide but as part of the leadership team you have other responsibilites too and I felt that no notice had a far bigger impact on the children than it should have done.

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Welcome to the forum! I understand completely what you are saying but still feel that there should be one rule for all and that "no notice" is the way forward. I can see that it poses difficulties ion a school when governors need to be available, etc. but maybe that is one aspect that Ofsted need to work on.

 

My daughter's secondary school was "done" last week with two days notice. The day before the inspectors arrived, the whole school was brought into assembly for an hour and given a lecture about how to behave and the sorts of things they should say if an inspector spoke to them. I told my daughter to tell them about the assembly if she was chosen - that sort of thing makes my blood BOIL! :o

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My daughter's secondary school was "done" last week with two days notice.

My niece's secondary school was done this week - and that her teachers were on their best behaviour! She said she and her friends were asking the teachers why they were behaving like this when they didn't usually! :o

 

Maz

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Is this no notice OFSTED instead of the two days notice, or an alternative version, or an additional type?

 

Sorry, but I wasn't aware of this type of inspection in schools, though I did know you could be given a curriculum area inspection with very little notice.

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My niece's secondary school was done this week - and that her teachers were on their best behaviour! She said she and her friends were asking the teachers why they were behaving like this when they didn't usually! :o

 

And in Lou's lessons, the learning objective suddenly magically appeared on the IWB at the beginning! xD

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We are committee run and have no notice inspections. In the last two inspections the inspector asked to speak to the nominated person, our chair of committee. However just like school governors, all the committee have outside lives and some have jobs. Equally our leadership team are working with children as well as fulfilling those roles. I can see how it will be difficult for schools to adjust but I agree with the comment above that it will be much better for there to be one rule for everyone.

 

Sorry forgot to add though welcome and well done on getting through it too!

Edited by Guest
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I totally agree it should be the same for everyone but that is the trouble it isn't. Being on the new pilot you are judged against completely different criteria than if you are inspected under the current section 5 which some schools are still being judged under. We still did OK but probably would have come out even better under section 5 than section 8.

I strongly believe that Ofsted should see the school as it really is and disagree with preparing the children and putting on a show but if Ofsted are going to continue with these then there are lots of problems that need sorting out (hence the pilot I suppose) and if you can't get any govs to attend that puts you at a distinct disadvantage. It also means that if you can't arrange cover for after school clubs at such short notice whilst you attend interviews with the inspectors then a lot of children are disappointed and parents who work are put out. Maybe making the replies to the questionnaire different ( it didn't for us but could have done).

Before I experienced it I would have said it was the right thing to do but having experienced the problems first hand I am no longer so sure. 24 hours notice would have been enough to sort out the majority of things.

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Hopefully you will be asked to contribute feedback to the pilot which will make things more manageable for schools like yours and also fairer across the board. Well we can hope they will ask for feedback!

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Have just survived the first HMI pilot no notice inspection in a primary school. They arrived Tuesday morning at 8.35am and were in Foundation Stage by 8.50am. Have to say it was very stressful as I had two observations over the two days and as a member of the leadership team had to come out of the classroom to help the head get all the evidence together. With a normal inspection you would be able to do that after school in the couple of days between getting notice and the insepction starting but with a no notice you just don't get the time. Most of our governors work so were unable to attend at 24 hours notice and parents only had overnight to complete questionnaires. Of course with the new pilot Section 8 inspections there is a lot more focus on EYFS so make sure you've got everything in place as you have to produce lots of evidence.

Well at least it's over, we survived but I wouldn't wish a no notice on anyone. I intend on doing no work whatsoever over half-term!!

 

Well done - enjoy the break. Having planned to do only a little work over half term am thinking that might not be the best idea. When you say have everything in place what is that? Planning/learning journals/policy in place but what else needs to be there. Do you have hard copy early years portfolio or is it electronic? Would be very interested to hear what they wanted to see.

E.

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Welcome to the forum and have a well deserved rest! There are obviously lots of issues that your inspection has thrown up, but as others have said that is what pilots are for. Hopefully when it is rolled out across the country any difficulties such as you have experienced will have been addressed in some way. :o

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Hi ajdavies and edith33, welcome from me too. :o

 

I wonder if the no notice Inspections would work if they did the inspection with all staff doing what they normally do, then give 24 hrs to produce 'paperwork' evidence. This will delay the feedback I suppose but will reduce disruption to classes. Another thought though is that pulling staff from classes does show how the school manages 'staff cover'.

 

Were you asked to give your feedback on this 'pilot' experience?

 

Glad it is all over for you and well done for getting through it, enjoy your break. xD

 

Peggy

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must say I prefer no notice inspections Id like to think we act the same whether ofsted is watching or not

 

the only thing I worry about is potential bogus ofsted callers I dont know that this has ever happened but its a risk

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the only thing I worry about is potential bogus ofsted callers I dont know that this has ever happened but its a risk

That would be easily overcome though, by checking ID and by ringing Ofsted to confirm the person in front of you was a genuine inspector. You make a good point though: I wonder how many people check their Ofsted inspector's ID before welcoming them in with (if not open arms) gritted teeth... :o

 

Maz

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