Headteachers given 101 suggestions to help manage the pressure of Ofsted

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Managing Ofsted: ASCL’s Ofsted guidance calls on school leaders to protect teachers’ workload and to avoid ‘mocksteds’ (Image: Adobe Stock)

Schools should avoid “mocksteds”, remove Ofsted banners from the school gates, and protect staff from increased workload.

The advice is among 101 suggestions to help headteachers manage the impact of Ofsted inspection on staff and the wider school community.

The free to download document has been produced by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and offers a range of low-cost, low-workload ideas and strategies.

The guidance urges schools to “remove Ofsted as a driver” when talking to staff and pupils and instead focus on improvements that are in the best interests of the school and its community.

Furthermore, “inspection should not generate extra workload for teachers” and school leaders are urged to pay close attention to the Ofsted “myths guidance”.

Headteachers are also advised to consider removing banners which proclaim Ofsted inspection judgements from outside their schools.

The advice states: “Reconsider your banner: while you may be proud of your inspection result, remember Ofsted is not the only mark of success. Perhaps the views of your pupils and parents would be a refreshing and welcome alternative.”

ASCL’s inspections specialist Stephen Rollett added: “Inspections are obviously important but they don’t tell the full story. There is so much more to a school than whether a team of inspectors think it is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

“Schools open up a world of learning – sports, music, arts, science, history, languages and literature. A generic Ofsted rating cannot do justice to their distinctive character. Let’s replace those banners with something more inspiring than an accountability measure.

“We could instead put up quotes from parents and pupils about the things they love about our schools, the things which really make schools tick.”

Elsewhere, the guidance advises against “mocksteds”, arguing that they can “undermine confidence” and that they “carry little weight with inspectors”.

The guidance also offers advice on receiving “the call”, things to consider the day before inspection, during and afterwards. ASCL will be producing a similar guide specifically for colleges in due course.

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