The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Ofsted

John Viner

From educator to regulator: what you need to know about the new HMCI

What will Amanda Spielman make of the Wilshaw legacy? John Viner suspects there may be change in the air. Ofsted's new chief inspector, Amenda Spielman. Picture credit: gov.uk When the former education secretary, Nicky Morgan selected Amanda Spielman to be successor to Sir Michael Wilshaw as Her...
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Damian Moore

'One happy family': transforming provision for SEND

The deputy headteacher of one secondary school explains why staff are determined to improve learning outcomes for all pupils. From the comfort of the Sussex coast, this summer holiday was a time to think about what went right and what could have gone better at Holy Family Catholic School. On one...
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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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