The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Ofsted

Sue Birchall

Ofsted is coming: how SBMs can prepare

No truer is the saying 'Proper preparation prevents poor performance' than when an inspector calls. Here are the steps school business managers can take to stay ahead. For many school leaders, the autumn term can be the winter of their discontent. Image source: HBO At the beginning of term, nothing...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

No more Trojan Horses

In recent years, education in Birmingham has been the subject of national controversy. What can schools do to prevent history repeating itself? In March 2014, the press reported an alleged plot by so-called ‘hardline Islamists’ to take over a number of Birmingham schools. The substance of the plot...
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Lisa Griffin

How to write a school policy: 9 top tips

School policies and procedures demonstrate your compliance with statutory requirements but how do you start to write one? These nine tips will help guide you in creating and reviewing a policy. 1. Correct content Cover what needs to be covered in accordance with legal guidance and Ofsted...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Inspecting e-safety: an update

Schools are struggling to train staff and foster a collective e-safety culture, according to a recent assessment report. How can they ensure that policy and practice are inspection-ready? Attendees at last week’s Bett exhibition were invited to a half-hour seminar on ‘Inspecting Keeping Children...
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Sam Attwater

21 steps to achieving an outstanding early years Ofsted judgement

Sam Attwater outlines the key things your early years setting will need to do to achieve an outstanding Ofsted judgement. The common inspection framework sets out how Ofsted inspects maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools, further education and skills provision and...
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John Viner

Understanding Ofsted monitoring visits

Monitoring visits from Ofsted changed under the new framework. We look at the differences and what you can now expect. School inspection is currently set out in legislation through the Education Act 2005. In this act, the regular two-day inspection is described in section 5 and ‘other inspection’...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Improving practice to support more able pupils

Elizabeth Holmes outlines what schools need to consider to ensure teachers are equipped with the right tools to support more able pupils. Supporting the individual needs of children is what great teachers do every day. It would be unthinkable to expect to go into a classroom and ‘deliver’ an...
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Lisa Griffin

Ofsted and British values

With increased importance of British values in the new framework, we look at what these really mean for schools and how to evidence for Ofsted. As of November 2014, schools have had to promote British values (BV), so no doubt we’re all very familiar with them. The advice from the DfE is to do this...
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Evie Prysor-Jones

No Ofsted worries with a strong SEND strategy

With the new Ofsted Inspection Framework now in force, there are some simple steps SENCos can follow to demonstrate effective leadership, planning and processes. Evie Prysor-Jones explains. Gareth Morewood has been SENCo at Priestnall School for almost 15 years, so has seen his fair share of Ofsted...
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Lisa Griffin

Youngest headteacher in the UK is outstanding

How did the youngest headteacher in the UK, Siobhan Easton, achieve outstanding in her school’s first Ofsted inspection? Lisa Griffin, content lead for Leadership and Governance, interviews her to find out. Siobhan Easton, aged 27, heateacher at Marine Academy Plymouth (MAP) Primary School is the...
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