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I am worried about our impending inspection

Selwyn Ward is the TES's inspection 'agony uncle', answering your questions on the new Ofsted process

I am worried about our impending inspection. I've been so busy organising a school production that I haven't had time to do everything else: my handbook is missing a few policies; my schemes of work are not typed, and one is still a work in progress; my IEPs (individual education plans) are still in the envelope they came in. Am I going to get fired?

Don't take this the wrong way, but you may not even be seen. I've been on secondary school inspections where only one teacher in four has been seen (but please don't quote me as saying that's the "going rate") and inspectors certainly haven't sampled every subject. I didn't flinch at reading about your handbook or schemes of work, and inspectors might not need to see either if your department is otherwise performing effectively.

I was much more concerned at the inference that you've not looked at the IEPs. I'd expect all teachers to be aware of their students' individual learning needs. If you don't know what their needs are, you can't be planning for them, and this would lead me to wonder whether you're differentiating appropriately.

Selwyn Ward draws on many years of experience in both primary and secondary schools, but the views expressed here are his own. You can raise any queries or worries that you have about inspection by logging on to the TES website at

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