Never been through Ofsted and very froghtened

(14 Posts)
Tollygunge Sat 23-Jan-16 18:02:40

Just that really. Been teaching 11 years, head of dept but have been on mat leave when they've been before. Now we are on high alert. I'm very frightened and the stress is making me unproductive and miserable. Can someone talk me down please?

DitheringDiva Sat 23-Jan-16 20:49:05

It's not you they're looking at, as such, it's the school as a whole. It's not your job on the line if the school does badly, it's the Head's, so it's really nothing to worry about. They're not going to grade your lesson or anything anyway. They will look at marking, so make sure that's up-to-date, but it will be anyway if you've been doing your job properly up to now (forget all the 'deep-marking' rubbish). If results for your department are good, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about, if they're not that good, then that could be due to a whole myriad of things, the way you and the school are managed will have the biggest effect. I've never worked out why non-SLT teachers get so panicky about Ofsteds - I just carry on exactly as normal, all my lessons are always planned to at least a standard of 'good' anyway, and many of these lessons I just re-use with a bit of tweaking year after year. I've never understand why everyone else is running around like headless chickens, saying they've been up until 1am planning lessons - it makes me wonder what kind of planning they've been doing the rest of the year, and previous years. I'm usually very good on marking, but in one (not very nice) school, we were bullied so much about writing a paragraph every time we marked a book, and then copying that into another section of their folder, and then copying it again into the computer, that I physically couldn't fit it in (it took 5 hours to mark one set of books - I can do it in under an hour normally), and I got way behind with my marking, so when OfSted came in, my books hadn't been marked for weeks and weeks. It turns out, every other teacher had done the same - simply couldn't keep on top of the marking load, so hadn't done any for ages. It wasn't me or any of the teachers who were told off for this, it was management for having such an onerous marking policy.

IguanaTail Sat 23-Jan-16 22:45:18

They've made up their minds before they enter the school, based on the data of exam results. Not much will make them change their minds - they just try and seek out information to corroborate their findings. There's really no point worrying. The two ofsted inspectors I know used to be utterly crap teachers - and now they judge others.

Littlefish Sat 23-Jan-16 22:48:52

The last Ofsted inspection I went through was really positive. Hard work, but very positive.

The inspection team was really supportive and gave us lots of opportunities to show them the best we had to offer. Some of our data wasn't quite up to date, so they asked for it on the first day, and gave us until the 2nd day to give it to them. It meant a late night for many of us, but it was absolutely worth it.

Tollygunge Sun 24-Jan-16 00:38:08

Thanks all. How about book looks of lessons they aren't in. Will they do that for every year group and every subject! I'm in sec ed btw

IguanaTail Sun 24-Jan-16 00:56:48

Not necessarily. You can only do your best.

noblegiraffe Sun 24-Jan-16 10:56:05

They are only in for a couple of days, and some of that will be spent observing, others in meetings and looking at data. They can't possibly see everything or talk to everyone in detail. I've been through two ofsteds now where I haven't been observed.

IguanaTail Sun 24-Jan-16 11:26:22

In fact, unless they are seeking evidence to make it outstanding or requires improvement, it will only be one day. And only about 3 inspectors.

teacher54321 Sun 24-Jan-16 19:34:17

I've been inspected 4 times in total (but the first time I was a PGCE student so was basically hidden in a cupboard for 3 days!) In my experience they are looking at data data and data, and SLT. I've been observed lots of time and always had positive feedback. Make sure all your dept paperwork/development plans etc are up to date and relevant and that your books are marked. Ensure your lessons show pupil progress.

borntobequiet Sun 24-Jan-16 19:40:19

Ofsted are OK. Sensible, realistic people. I would far rather have an Ofsted bod observing me than any SLT I have known. Last Ofsted before I retired - outstanding on every criterion. My SLT would probably have given a 4.

echt Mon 25-Jan-16 08:20:41

The last OFSTED I had, the observer fell asleep in my lesson. The students nudged each other and pointed at him to give me the heads up. I dobbed the fecker in.

IguanaTail Mon 25-Jan-16 13:32:15

Hope you left him asleep.

woodlands01 Tue 26-Jan-16 19:39:20

Agree, borntobequiet. smile IguanaTail.

jarofcalm Wed 27-Jan-16 22:19:48

Totally agree about what they're looking for. Data, behaviour and how the school is managed. They're in your class for such a short time actually watching a lesson. Don't get me wrong - I was terrified. But I shouldn't have been.

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