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Calling school governors: what happens after an Ofsted?

(32 Posts)
Wigeon Wed 05-Nov-14 20:57:07

The school at which I am a governor is being Ofsted-ed today and tomorrow. What are the rules on what the school can tell the governing body about the outcome, before the full report is published?

Neither of the governors who were interviewed today by the inspectors can go to the feedback meeting (because of unavoidable work commitments), and the school are saying they can't tell anyone at all on the governing body what the outcome is, even though we have a full governors meeting on Modnay (ie before the report publication but after the inspection). The Ofsted inspection framework documents from this September doesn't go into this much detail.


LittleMissGreen Wed 05-Nov-14 21:05:38

Might be different as we are Wales, but one governor (Chair) went to the feedback meeting although 2 were interviewed. That governor was not allowed to say anything to other governors. School had a full governors meeting about 2 days before report due out (as report due at end of term) and weren't allowed to know then either. When we came back at beginning of new term as report had then been published we had 40ish days to write our post inspection action plan.

Jennifersrabbit Wed 05-Nov-14 21:05:59

When we had our ofsted we found out the result along with the rest of the parent body. I don't think the Head is actually meant to tell anyone before the report is published, but needless to say discreet winks are often tipped smile

Hope that helps.

sunnyrosegarden Wed 05-Nov-14 21:08:26

Our governing body were invited to the feedback meeting, although I couldn't attend. I was interviewed by Ofsted - not a pleasant experience.sad

We were told the result, but didn't see the report until later.

Not sure if that is typical, though.

Wigeon Wed 05-Nov-14 21:14:53

So two people found out when it was made public and one beforehand...

Any others?

Hassled Wed 05-Nov-14 21:21:43

I've been at the feedback meeting and so immediately knew the outcome. I can't imagine being a governor in a school where the relationship with the school leadership was so bad that they wouldn't tell a Chair of Governors (and thus the GB) the outcome of the inspection - and I'm unconvinced that the Head is actually allowed to make that call. Your meeting on Monday should be about the outcome, and the Action Plan that will arise from the inspection. The Ofsted page here states that the inspector will feed back to a Governor representative, the HT/SLT and the LA - I think one of you just has to make that meeting.

Hassled Wed 05-Nov-14 21:22:54

And I think Ofsted will be spectacularly unimpressed with the school leadership if there is no governor at that meeting.

admission Wed 05-Nov-14 21:24:20

The rules are now very clear because the boss of Ofsted has said so. As many governors as can make it are welcome to go to the final wrap up meeting and hear from the lead inspector the overall outcomes of the inspection in its draft form. What the school are saying OP is just plain wrong and if the lead inspector is saying it I would suggest that he phone Ofsted and ask to speak to Sir Michael Wilshaw.

What happens after the inspectors leave the school is that the school has to keep the outcomes confidential until the report has been moderated, words agreed and a date for release agreed. Having said that it is about keeping the outcome confidential from the general public. To not be telling staff or governors says a lot about how confidential somebody thinks the staff and governors will be and frankly is insulting. When Ofsted come to my school, which they will shortly, all my governors who are not at the final meeting will receive a phone call from me, as Chair, to tell them in confidence the outcome. I trust them to not blab.

lougle Wed 05-Nov-14 21:25:58

If, as a governor, you are at the feedback meeting, you hear the result. But nobody is allowed to share the result with the other governors before the report is published. Doing so can lead to the inspection being recalled, requiring re inspection.

We for guidance from our leadership and learning partner, who said that whilst we could not share the result, we could have smiles on our faces as we said it and could say that 'we were very pleased'.

Likewise, if it is a poor inspection, it would be okay to say that 'it was disappointing' but not that it was RI or inadequate.

lougle Wed 05-Nov-14 21:28:12

Guidance may have been given since our inspection, then, admission. It does seem stupid. Although our inspector told a couple of horror stories of recalled inspections.

sunnyrosegarden Wed 05-Nov-14 21:31:32

Yes, although I wasn't at the meeting (no childcare..) the Chair phoned me straight after. I was in school next day discussing the next step and generally morale boosting.

Wigeon Wed 05-Nov-14 21:35:52

Thank you. Admission and lougle - you are saying opposite things, interestingly. Admission, do you have an authoritative source I can forward to my Chair / the Head? Was it a speech made by Michael Wilshaw? Or a published document?

I agree if at all possible a governor should be at that meeting. I am not in control of that though. The Chair has an unavoidable meeting in a city 4 hrs away. The other governor who was interviewed is a secondary teacher herself. I can't say what my job is without outing myself somewhat but it would be really really difficult for me to be there tomorrow.

This attitude of the head is indicative of their wider approach...I entirely agree that governors should be trusted not to blab (as I think we absolutely could be).

Hassled Wed 05-Nov-14 21:37:47

But you have more than 3 governors on your GB, presumably? I can't see where Ofsted say the Gov representative at the feedback meeting has to be one of the governors who was interviewed.

Wigeon Wed 05-Nov-14 21:39:44

Oh, just found this, which sets out what admission says:

lougle Wed 05-Nov-14 21:43:15

It isn't surprising we're saying different things. My school was inspected earlier this year. That was the information we were told by the inspector and our Leadership and Learning partner. We certainly weren't going to risk our result by testing the theory!!

Admission has information which says different. I don't doubt it.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 05-Nov-14 21:52:38

I've been through this 3 times as a governor (not all at the same school).

The first time the inspector interviewed 3 of us but asked for only the Chair to attend feedback and specifically instructed her not to tell anyone else. I found out the result about an hour before the rest of the parents but only because I bumped into the Head while they were buying a sandwich smile

Second time the governor interview was more open invitation and most of the governing body attended the feedback. (This was the least favourable outcome, not sure if that's relevant?)

Third time, the inspector asked for Chair of Govs plus 1-2 others if available and only wanted 2 for feedback. We were told very clearly not to tell anyone else (govs inc) before the report was published but that we could possibly say we were "quite pleased"

It's highly unusual for the Chair not to be at the feedback I would say but I can see it's unavoidable so I would definitely expect them to delegate to a gov or two of their choosing. I found it incredibly useful to hear the inspector's feedback first hand - they tell you things that will not necessarily be explicitly stated in the report and give you more detail. It's also a chance to ask questions.

Good luck to you all!

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 05-Nov-14 21:57:38

Your link wigeon seems to focus on the draft report, which isn't usually available for 10 days - 2 weeks after the inspection. I've only skim read it but it doesn't seem to say much about the feedback meeting or the period between that and receiving the draft?

Wigeon Wed 05-Nov-14 22:15:42

Thanks. How long ago was your most recent Ofsted?

Here is another link which is more about the feedback meeting, which says that all governors should be invited:

And it says at para 88 of the new Handbook (ie the Sept 2014 one - that blog post above was from April 2014 and the para numbering has changed) that 'the feedback meeting should ...the Chair and one other governor wherever possible many members of the governing body as possible'.

Although no explicit mention in the handbook of governors who are NOT at the feedback meeting.

auntpetunia Wed 05-Nov-14 22:27:10

We were ofsted 4 weeks ago we got told ( am staff) on 2nd day what outcome was but told to keep it confidential but our head emailed all governors what outcome was and reminded them of strict confidentiality. Report got published 2 weeks ago and we put it straight on our website and emailed it to parents and governors. Surely another member of governing body can go to summary meeting?

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 05-Nov-14 22:32:50

My last Ofsted experience was in the last term of the last academic year. Has it changed since then?! nothing surprises me

junkfoodaddict Thu 06-Nov-14 14:34:56

I am a teacher and we always get told by our Head the day after but told to keep it confidential. When asked by others and just say we are not allowed to know until the report comes out. Hard not to know because if you get graded a 3/4 then action will happen almost immediately and everyone will guess the inspection didn't go well.

admission Thu 06-Nov-14 20:55:56

I was going to direct to para 88 but Widgeon beat me to it.

Believe Sir Michael Wilshaw has said it more than once and asked for any inspector who directs otherwise to be reported immediately to Ofsted. I was there in the audience when he said it and I have also had similar conversations with Mike Cladingbowl who is Director- Schools.

There is good reasons why any initial feedback should be considered confidential, because some outcomes do get changed when the reports are moderated. The report and inspection outcomes do have to be substantiated by the data that has been collected during the inspection, which is why until the report will always be subject to potential change until the final agreed report goes to the school.

Para 89 also has some key words in it
"The lead inspector should explain to those present that the purpose of the feedback session is to share the main findings of the inspection and recommendations for improvement. The lead inspector must make clear that inspection outcomes are restricted and confidential to the relevant senior personnel (as determined by the school) and that they must remain so until the school receives the final report."

The school determine who the relevant senior people are who can know the outcome and when they say school, they mean the governing body, not the head teacher!

Wigeon Thu 06-Nov-14 22:07:52

Thanks admission. I managed to get to the feedback meeting today with the inspectors (and HT, DHT, a staff governor and two other governors), got told the overall grading, and the sub-gradings, but was then sworn to absolute secrecy by both the lead inspector and the School Improvement Partner (SIP) (from county), even to other governors, even to our Acting Chair (who couldn't be present).

This is making me feel completely patronised and that they are infantalising the rest of the GB, who surely could / should be trusted to keep that information confidential, and understand the reasons why. We are clearly all adults, but not being treated as such.

admission - I took the extract of the Handbook (para 88 onwards) to the meeting, and when the SIP expressed surprise I was there (because I had not been interviewed by the inspectors), and I read her out the guidance, she kept saying that it was only guidance, had no force in law, was not statutory etc. Due to my job, I am fully aware of the difference between guidance, legislation etc, but I was actually incredulous, and asked if she was really suggesting that Ofsted inspectors need not follow Ofsted guidance, and she said yes!

I am so cross about this. If I hadn't moved heaven and earth to attend the feedback meeting I would be in the second-rank of governors who won't be told anything at all about the inspection until the report is published. I feel a letter to Ofsted coming on.

Wigeon Thu 06-Nov-14 22:10:25

admission - would you mind saying what event(s) you were at where you heard Michael Wilshaw? The official texts of his speeches are here, so I might be able to find something useful. Although he may have made his remarks in an unscripted Q&A section rather than in the formal speech.

Wigeon Thu 06-Nov-14 22:13:05

Also, I know of another school in the same town where ALL staff were told the day after the inspection (and told to keep the info confidential of course). But in my school many governors and all staff will not be told. So, as demonstrated by this thread, inspectors and HTs are inconsistent in their approach to this question.

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