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Do OFSTED come in the last week of term?

23 replies

WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 09:30

DS’s Primary school have OFSTED today and tomorrow which seems a bit unfair seeing as they have sports-day and YR 6 production planned. I feel sorry for the pupils and teachers!

Is this the latest they can come? Do they come in the last week too? (Mid week finish next week here). Wondering just how unlucky/unusual this is.

OP posts:
lucysmam · 11/07/2023 10:24

As far as I know, yes.

We had ours in the first week back in September & right up until the last couple of days of the last summer term were told not to pack up too much of the classrooms.

Enko · 11/07/2023 10:27

They inspect term time. From first day to last.

givemushypeasachance · 11/07/2023 10:40

From Ofsted guidance "Inspections can take place at any point from 5 school days after the first day pupils attend in the autumn term."

They don't usually come on a Monday, as they phone the school just before lunchtime on the day before to notify that the inspection is taking place - so the head and chair of governors can make sure they're available, key documentation can be gathered and sent across for inspectors to look at, etc etc.

Once you've taken the first week of the school year out, half terms and other holidays, and inset days, and ruled out Mondays, there are not that many days available to inspect every single school in the standard cycle - given Ofsted need to go back in and look at inadequate ones again to check they're improving, and they need to do emergency inspections to look at complaints sometimes.

Throw in that most inspections are carried out by serving headteachers who also run their own schools and inspect on behalf of Ofsted a couple of times a year - no one wants to inspect, or be inspected, during exam time or Christmas end of term fun or school trips and sports days. But unfortunately someone has to as otherwise there would only be about six weeks to cram everyone's inspections in.  

WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 17:19

Thanks. Not sure which seems worse - end of July or first week of Sept!

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hoophoophooray · 11/07/2023 17:26

Our primary is on tenterhooks for 1pm tomorrow, as it's the last possible date for OFSTED to advise an inspection this term (for Thu/Fri this week). They finish next Wednesday at lunchtime so have assumed that OFSTED won't want to visit when the school is only partially open. Who knows though...

AuntMarch · 11/07/2023 17:28

I'm sure I remember a friends school having theirs in the last week. Shouldn't have to stop sports day though

Bluevelvetsofa · 11/07/2023 17:50

The primary school next to the secondary I taught in, had them in during the last week of the summer term. Children and staff were on their knees.

DueyCheatemAndHow · 11/07/2023 17:51

I THINK they are more likely to do primaries at this point as secondaries have lost year groups.

Jaffapaffa · 11/07/2023 18:31

Secondary school - we have OFSTED in today and tomorrow.

PaigeMatthews · 11/07/2023 18:35

we have been done in the second week of september and the week we broke up for christmas. The September one was great as the students were stîll being their best selves.

WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 18:37

Sports day and Yr 6 performances still went/ are going ahead as planned. It’s just like bluevelevetsofa says - staff and pupils are on their knees.

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WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 18:37

I hope it’s going well @DueyCheatemAndHow

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DueyCheatemAndHow · 11/07/2023 20:28

Not me thankfully!

Cric · 11/07/2023 21:00

One of our feeder secondary schools had ofsted in the final week of the year.

NillyNoMates · 11/07/2023 21:11

Yes they do, and it must be a nightmare. We are on our knees in school and limping to the end of term. I can’t imagine having the pressure of ofsted on top.

WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 21:19

Oops sorry - Good luck @Jaffapaffa . Hope it’s not too stressful.

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MrsSucculent · 11/07/2023 21:31

Yes but it shouldn’t stop any events from happening as normal.

ThrallsWife · 12/07/2023 05:27

Yes, but what they hope to gain from it I will never understand. Ofsted's purpose is to inspect and make a judgement on everyday stuff that's going on in the school. And while certain procedures shouldn't change (e.g. the behaviour system and its implementation, and tracking of data) others will very much be skewed by the time of year, including attendance, behaviour and everyday teaching and learning.

That's not even down to people having a lazy week in the last week or so of term and just putting on films. Quite rightly, the curriculum will have finished for the year in subjects after the last bit of data collection is in, so monitoring teaching and learning according to that will be difficult. Many students will have started taking books home (less so in primaries, but definitely in secondaries), so then the only ones left to show are those of kids who couldn't care less.

Staff are unusually tired, kids are emotionally wound up, either by lack of everyday routines due to rewards ceremonies/ trips/ end of year activities, by the weather, by going on holiday soon or by the sheer prospect of spending 6 weeks at home without the relief school can bring for some.

All of this will, inevitably, make the school look worse. "Why exactly are you doing a lesson on this right now?" "Because we've finished everything we needed to and I still have 2 lessons left to somehow fill while keeping behaviour under control despite this" doesn't quite cut it.

Bernadinetta · 12/07/2023 06:09

We had them in SATs week once- the Year 6s were doing tests in the mornings and the inspectors wanted to observe maths and English lessons in the afternoon! Have also had them towards the end of July, it wasn’t the very last week but I remember all of Key Stage 2 were on the beach for the end of term trip when the call came through that they’d be in the next day.

noglow · 12/07/2023 06:11

Seems fair enough that they should inspect them doing whatever it is they had planned

LadyPenelope68 · 12/07/2023 06:25

Yes they do, we had ours on the Wednesday/Thursday of the week we broke up for Summer - we were on our knees ☹️

Italiandreams · 12/07/2023 06:37

The problem with inspecting them whatever they have planned, which I agree is the ideal, is that it may not be practical or possible. They want to talk and interview members of staff, and with how low staff numbers are in some schools, they would struggle to run events safely while freeing up staff. Inspectors also want to do things like listen to children read and talk to them about the curriculum.

Jaffapaffa · 12/07/2023 08:35

WonderWhirl · 11/07/2023 21:19

Oops sorry - Good luck @Jaffapaffa . Hope it’s not too stressful.

Thank you. I've just had an email warning me that I'll probably be visited at some point this morning 🤞

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