Dan Lambert, Her Majesty’s Inspector, on a bit 8 inspection

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Brief inspections are of faculties that had been good at their earlier inspection to examine that they continue to be good. These inspections final at some point and sometimes happen each three to 4 years.

On a bit 8 brief inspection, it’s necessary to start with the mind-set that ‘this can be a good college’. I’ll examine whether or not the college stays good and make it possible for the safeguarding is efficient. It’s important to have an trustworthy, difficult, skilled dialogue with senior leaders.

Earlier than the inspection, I overview the inspection knowledge abstract report back to get a view on how pupils are performing in nationwide exams. It helps to type some questions I would ask the college. The varsity’s web site is a helpful supply of data because it contains particulars of the college’s curriculum and insurance policies.

Skilled dialogue

The day earlier than, I name the headteacher to organise the inspection. I reply her questions, share my inspection plan and inform her she will attend all classroom observations if she desires to.

We amend the inspection timetable to slot in with the conventional operating of the college. I guarantee the headteacher that we’ll be in common contact all through the day. We are going to talk about rising proof at sure factors in the course of the day and any issues that both of us have.

I’ll meet with senior leaders, which incorporates governors, who’re an necessary a part of the inspection and play an enormous and very important function at school enchancment.

Briefing employees

I realise that some employees could be nervous and I organise a briefing for them early within the inspection. I inform them that I used to be a headteacher within the main sector, so that they know that I’ve skilled experience. I additionally take the chance to set their minds at relaxation about a few of the myths we all know exist about inspection.

I inform lecturers that there isn’t a most well-liked fashion of instructing or written suggestions. I received’t be grading classes and I want to see deliberate classes, not lesson plans; there is a crucial distinction between the 2. The headteacher can see that the employees are reassured by this and are extra relaxed as they start their day.

Pupils doing a physics experiment with a slope and wheeled toy.


The headteacher and I meet early on to debate the college’s self-evaluation. She explains to me the method of ongoing analysis and enchancment planning the college makes use of. We talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the college. She has an trustworthy and open strategy to the inspection and a transparent self-evaluation of the faculties’ effectiveness. This helps us to agree the principle traces of enquiry for the inspection.


Safeguarding is a standard thread that runs by means of all inspections whatever the age group, the kind of neighborhood and youngsters that the college serves. I start by checking that each one the employees have been by means of the correct employment checks. The workplace supervisor understands how necessary these are.

All through the day, I communicate to employees to search out out about their coaching and its high quality. I ask them in the event that they know what to do if they’ve issues about pupils. I discuss to pupils to see in the event that they really feel protected at school. Do they know the way the college addresses any issues in the event that they’re apprehensive? They are saying that they know the best way to keep protected on-line and the best way to report issues. The pupils inform me that they’ve not too long ago taken half in web security week actions. The varsity additionally sends out safeguarding recommendation to oldsters by means of their common newsletters, which the headteacher assures me are extremely popular.

Pupils watching a cookery demonstration

Observing at school

The headteacher and I resolve to have a look at the requirements throughout the curriculum and studying in a number of yr teams. I can see that pupils behave properly and work arduous.  Additionally it is clear that lecturers ask probing questions that problem pupils to assume.

Requirements in English and arithmetic appear excessive. Nonetheless, the usual of writing in geography and science books doesn’t mirror that seen in English books. The headteacher had talked about earlier than that she’s engaged on this and we agree to have a look at a wider pattern of books.

I work with a variety of curriculum leaders, testing the speculation that the requirements within the wider curriculum might not match the excessive requirements in English and arithmetic. Leaders agree that this can be a helpful exercise.

We agree that the pupils obtain a broad and balanced curriculum. Nonetheless, they don’t at all times write at a excessive commonplace in all classes. This prevents them recording their analysis, concepts and conclusions in any nice element. Leaders acknowledge that specializing in this can be a helpful subsequent step for the college. Importantly, this reveals that they perceive the college and the best way to enhance it additional.

At my catch-up assembly with the headteacher within the early afternoon, I guarantee her that I’ve ample proof that the college continues to do job and so I cannot be changing the inspection, or certainly recommending a bit 5 for the college’s subsequent inspection.

Last suggestions

My suggestions to leaders and governors focuses on the college’s primary strengths and the areas for enchancment. I’ve labored with the headteacher all through the day and my observations come as no shock to the opposite leaders.

I share the principle data that I’ll embrace within the brief inspection letter that’s despatched to the college. I can see that the leaders know their college properly and that the pupils are protected and obtain commonplace of training. Leaders remark that the inspection has helped them to problem their pondering and the best way to enhance the college even additional.

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