Ofsted survival pack: checklists and myth-busting

Are you prepared for a visit from Ofsted? Download and share our inspection checklists to ensure all staff are fully equipped

Author details

Lisa Griffin is content lead at Optimus Education, focusing on leadership and governance. 

To ensure the process is as stress-free as possible, preparation needs to be undertaken at all levels – by support staff who receive the call from the lead inspector through to teaching staff, senior leaders and school governors.

Getting ready for Ofsted

To ensure your staff know what to expect download the Ofsted checklists for:

Ofsted myths

With so much time being spent on paperwork preparation for an Ofsted inspection, it’s not surprising that staff can feel overwhelmed. This is why it’s equally important to remember that there are things that Ofsted does not inspect.

Ofsted does not:

  • require schools to provide individual lesson plans to inspectors
  • specify how planning should be set out, the length of time it should take or the amount of detail it should contain
  • award a grade for the quality of teaching for any individual lessons and it does not grade individual lessons
  • expect to see unnecessary or extensive written dialogue between teachers and pupils in exercise books and folders
  • require schools to undertake a specified amount of lesson observation
  • expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback.

Have confidence

Every member of staff will have specific responsibilities related to preparing for the inspectors so it is imperative to:

  • know what you (and your team) are doing, how and when
  • know why you are doing it
  • know what is working well and not so well
  • know how you plan to improve and develop provision
  • keep concise, accessible and well-organised evidence to support everything you say.

Be ready with examples of success

The inspection is a whole school effort so ensure all staff and governors receive a copy of the inspectors’ activity for the first day. Information shared helps everyone to feel part of it and be confident in how the day will run.

Your biggest resource in preparing for and dealing with a visit from Ofsted is the team around you. Talk to and support each other, ask questions, share concerns, worries or helpful methods of planning.

Be confident and ready with examples of success – methods that have proved particularly effective, plaudits from parents or colleagues and pupils who have made exceptional progress. Tell the inspectors everything you want them to know about otherwise it can’t be included in their evidence.

Finally, show that your work is in parallel with the whole-school policy and reflects the vision. This is your chance to showcase your role in your school.

Note: We'll be reviewing these checklists in line with the changes being made to the Ofsted inspection framework.


Last Updated: 
04 Jul 2019