The myths surrounding Ofsted inspections

A small word with big meaning – just the whisper of an impending “Ofsted” visit can leave some teachers unable to sleep at night until the dreaded Inspection is over. But Ofsted are keen to ease your worries with the reassuring knowledge that these six common rumours are nothing more than staff room mythology.

Myth: You and your lesson are going to be individually graded by the observing inspector.
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, Ofsted does not grade individual teachers or their lessons. While it is still important to ensure your lesson is the best possible example you can provide on the day, you will not receive a personal grade.

Myth: Ofsted inspectors have a preferred method of teaching.
Truth: You do not need to demonstrate any particular method of teaching during your lesson observations. Ofsted inspectors do not have a preferred style, or if they do, they are not allowed to let this impact your school’s report.

Myth: The inspector will expect to see a lesson plan for the lesson they observe.
Truth: There is no need to stress over providing a written plan for the lesson an inspector decides to observe. Ofsted will not expect this of you. (Though it’s probably a good idea to have some idea of what you plan to teach in advance of the inspection!)

Myth: You must present your performance/assessment information in a specific way.
Truth: Ofsted does not expect to see your performance/assessment information presented in any particular style. What they care most about is that it makes sense, is clear and up-to-date.

Myth: Marking of pupils’ work must be done in a specific way.
Truth: You do not need to re-do any marking of pupils’ work to adhere to a specific Ofsted guideline; such an expectation does not exist.

It is important to remember that Ofsted inspectors are employed for the benefit of schools, their staff and students. Inspectors are aware of the tensions their visit will cause, and should take into account the additional nerves you’ll be feeling during the visit.

We hope you’ll share the truth behind these common myths as a means of reassurance, ready for the next time an inspector calls!