Ofsted’s blog: Dispelling the #Ofstedmyths by finding out what inspectors really look at

1st February 2018 at 09:04

Ofsted’s myth-busting campaign has been around for a while now, yet it’s more relevant than ever: myths keep emerging that need shattering. If you haven’t seen our myth-busters, take a look. The list highlights the most common myths Ofsted hears about on inspection. These myths make claims that inspectors require schools to do things in a particular way, when that’s not the case.

Mike Sheridan, regional director, London, says, "Quite often, teachers ask what Ofsted wants to see." In our short film about myths he acknowledges that there’s a "misunderstanding" on the part of some teachers. Mike says: "In the films, we explain that we’re not looking for anything specifically. We are looking at how the school operates." The place to go for clarity is the school inspection handbook, which also features the list of the most common myths.

Mike reiterates that Ofsted isn’t looking for a particular style of marking or assessment – or even for schools to necessarily grade lessons. It’s up to schools to make choices about their processes and procedures, based on what suits their individual circumstances.

Ofsted does not want schools to second-guess what they think it might require in order to meet a certain inspection standard. At the heart of everything that a school does is doing what’s right for the children and not what they think is right for Ofsted. 

Myths get in the way of people’s understanding about inspection. Believing in the myths can cause stress and add to workload as schools implement unnecessary procedures in the mistaken belief that Ofsted requires them.

As the Workload Challenge sets out, government should be playing its part in reducing unnecessary and unproductive tasks and Ofsted is committed to doing that.