Despite the fact that every teacher should have read Ofsted’s school inspection handbook, which goes into detail about things like the evaluation schedule and grade descriptors, several inspection myths still exist.
So, to provide clarification over the facts once and for all, here are 7 Ofsted inspection myths you should pay no attention to whatsoever.
- Teaching style ‘X’ is the best
Ofsted does not believe that one style of teaching is better than another; it simply wants to know that you’re having an impact on the progress of students. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, as different techniques work for different people.
- You have to show your lesson plans
Ofsted does not ask any teacher to provide copies of their lesson plans – past, present, or future. The thing inspectors are interested in is the effectiveness of lesson plans. Ofsted also says that it does “not expect tutor groups/form time to include literacy, numeracy or other learning sessions. Schools can use form time as they wish.”
- Demonstrate equality and diversity in lessons
There is no expectation for teachers to have equality and diversity as part of every lesson. Inspectors simply want evidence that students are learning about the multicultural world we live and work in. However, an inadequate grade will be given if “teachers do not promote equality of opportunity or understanding of diversity effectively and so discriminate against the success of individuals or groups of pupils.”
- Individual subject grades effect the school’s overall grade
Along with disregarding certain subjects and work experience as limiting grades on study programmes, Ofsted also says that “schools will not be marked down because they are not ‘tracking’ science and foundation subjects in the same ways that they may be doing in English and mathematics.”
- Tasks and activities should be tailored to the individual
Inspectors are realistic when it comes to differentiation and know that tailor-made tasks and activities for individual students are extremely difficult to implement in the classroom. However, they do want to know that you’re mindful of how different pupils require different instructions or approaches, and that your entire class has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
- Information and Learning Technology is essential
There is no requirement on teachers to utilise Information and Learning Technology (ILT) in every lesson. After all, if you include ILT in every lesson just for the sake of it, students won’t reap its far-reaching rewards. Be sure to keep ILT for relevant times and tasks.
- In-house observations and grading are essential
This is perhaps the most common misconception there is. Ofsted does not expect all teachers to be observed and graded by leaders. It’s actually up to leaders themselves to choose the methodology they think will improve the quality of teaching the most. As Ofsted explains: “Inspectors do not expect school leaders to set teacher performance targets based on commercially produced predictions of pupil achievement, or any other data set, from which they would then hold teachers to account.”