FRAMEWORK FOR INSPECTIONS

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1 FRAMEWORK FOR INSPECTIONS In use from January 2015

2 CODE OF CONDUCT FOR INSPECTORS The inspectors relations with the schools they inspect are of the greatest importance. Inspectors must be sensitive, friendly and reassuring in their approach to everybody. They must be good and sympathetic listeners. They must manifestly take trouble to find out and look at what is relevant. They must avoid hasty judgements, and must not give the impression that they know all the answers. They should judge by results and should not have preconceived ideas about what methods to use. They should not be full of their own self-importance and should not take advantage of the respect they are given to promote their own views and opinions. Their comments and feedback should be clear and constructive. At all times they are expected to: evaluate objectively, be impartial and have no substantial previous connection with the school which could undermine their objectivity report honestly and fairly, ensuring that judgements are accurate and reliable help and encourage teachers to develop their professional skills carry out their work with integrity, treating all those they meet with courtesy and sensitivity do all they can to minimise stress for those involved in the inspection, and act with their best interests and well-being as priorities maintain purposeful and productive dialogue with those being inspected, and communicate judgements clearly and frankly respect the confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work. Above all, they should act in the best interests of the children and young people in the schools that they inspect. 1

3 INSPECTION ARRANGEMENTS The composition of the inspection team A professional inspector will lead all inspections. These lead inspectors will have experience of inspecting a wide range of schools, often as HMI, and will have appropriate qualifications and professional expertise. They will all have some experience of inspecting independent faith schools and will be familiar with the independent school standards (ISS). They will be assisted by team inspectors, appointed by the Chief Inspector, subject to confirmation of their suitability by the Association of Muslim Schools (AMSUK) or the Christian Schools Trust (CST), as appropriate. Team inspectors will generally have current or recent experience of senior management in an AMSUK or a CST school. These candidates will attend a training course and they will then be required to take part in an inspection led by a professional inspector. They will only be accredited by BSI as a team inspector if they do so successfully. The lead inspector will assess them on a three-point scale: good, satisfactory, or inadequate. Any team inspector that is assessed as inadequate will cease to work for BSI, subject to an appeal to the Chief Inspector. Team inspectors will be assessed on all the inspections that they undertake up to the point where they have been assessed as good twice in a row by two different lead inspectors. Team inspectors will be required to attend update training around once a year and will usually take part in at least one inspection a year. They will be required to inspect at least one school that is not in their association every four years. Professional inspectors will also attend the update training with team inspectors and any other meetings as required by the CI. Inspection teams will generally consist of two or three people. Exceptionally, if the school is very large or has particular features such as a split site, it may be necessary to have more inspectors. Where there are two inspectors in the team, one will always be a professional inspector who will lead the inspection and the other will always be a team inspector from the same association as the school. Where there are more than two inspectors, there will often be a team inspector from a different association on the team. If a school makes a request for religious reasons, teams of inspectors will be all female or all male, as appropriate. All inspectors will be required to state the names of any schools with which they have a close connection. These will include schools in which they have taught, in which their close relatives or friends teach, to which they have given substantial advice and guidance, or to which they have applied unsuccessfully for jobs in the last five years. This information will be updated annually by the BSI administrator. The inspection programme will be drawn up to ensure that no inspector is involved in the inspection of a school with which they have a close connection. In particular, inspectors must not have worked at or given advice to a school they are scheduled to inspect for a period of at least six years. The team will be chosen so that the experience and expertise of inspectors can be matched to the situation of the school, using the information about the school that BSI has gathered, which will include numbers on roll, age range, gender of pupils and whether the school is on one or more sites. 2

4 The frequency of inspections Full inspections under section 162A of the Education Act 2002, or under section 108 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, will take place at intervals prescribed by the Secretary of State for Education. Currently, there is a six-year cycle for schools that have been judged on their last inspection to be at least good in terms of the quality of education, the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, the welfare, health and safety of pupils and, where applicable, the quality of the early years foundation stage. All other schools are inspected every three years. However, because many of the schools inspected by BSI are small establishments liable to considerable changes in leadership, management and staffing, BSI undertakes an interim visit after three years to schools on the six-year cycle. The purpose of this visit is to judge whether the strengths noted in the inspection report have been sustained, and to make sure that the changes that have happened since the last inspection are not so great as to make it imprudent to rely on the judgements made in the last report. After an interim visit has taken place, the lead inspector will write a letter, with the approval of the Chief Inspector, to the head teacher summarising the findings of the visit. This letter will be copied to the Department for Education (DfE) and may recommend that the next full inspection of the school be brought forward. This letter will not be published by BSI but will be copied to the DfE.. What will happen before an inspection Around five working days before the inspection, the school will be given notification of the date of the inspection and the names of the inspectors. If the school considers that an inspector has too close a connection with the school, the BSI administrator should be informed immediately. The school will be asked to send a completed version of the BSI School Information and Evaluation Form (SIEF) before the inspection and to make further information available during the inspection itself. The lead inspector will use this information to prepare for the inspection, and will write to the team inspectors shortly before the inspection with detailed plans so that they can make the best use of their time in school. At the time of notification, questionnaires will be sent to the school for distribution to parents and to pupils of secondary school age in order to seek their views. Soon after the school has received notification, the lead inspector will contact the head teacher to discuss detailed arrangements for the inspection, including scheduling times for the inspectors to talk to key members of staff, meet parents, pupils, and governors or trustees, and to look at a sample of the pupils work. What will happen during an inspection The lead inspector will arrive during the first day of the inspection, which will normally be a Monday. This will provide an opportunity for the proprietor, trustees or governors, head teacher, and staff to meet him or her. The lead inspector will make sure that all the additional information that has been requested is available and will examine carefully the Single Central Record of staff checks. It is unlikely that lessons will be observed during the first day, but an observation may take place if the inspector or the school feels that it is important to see an activity that will not be happening later in the inspection. The lead inspector will offer to hold an open 3

5 meeting with parents in the evening of the first day, but if the head teacher does not think that such a meeting will be well attended, the lead inspector will be available to meet parents, individually or in groups, at a specified time during the afternoon. The team inspectors will arrive in time for a briefing meeting on the evening of the first day. The team will spend the next two days in the school. During this time they will: inspect teaching and learning and evaluate pupils' achievements observe and talk to the pupils follow up inspection issues. The inspectors will look at a range of lessons. Because inspectors focus on the quality of teaching and its impact on pupils learning, rather than on the performance of individual teachers, they may not see all staff teaching. The work of unqualified, as well as qualified teachers, and the work of teaching assistants, may be observed. Teachers whose lessons have been observed will be offered brief feedback, immediately after the observation or at a mutually convenient time. In addition to observing lessons, inspectors will wish to see evidence of lesson and curriculum planning, marking, assessments and records that are kept of pupils' progress. They will also read through the additional information provided by the school. This will include policy documents and schemes of work, in whatever form the school holds the information. Schools will not be expected to prepare extra documents for the inspection, or to produce lesson plans to a particular format. Inspectors may also look at a sample of pupils' work, and talk to the head teacher and key members of staff about their responsibilities. The inspectors will make judgements about pupils' progress based on the evidence they gather during lessons and from talking to the pupils and looking at their work. They will take account of the school's results in public examinations and any other relevant measures of its performance. They will also take account of any valueadded data available. They make judgements on pupils skills in speaking and listening, literacy, and numeracy, but will not necessarily cover standards in other areas of the curriculum unless they are of particular relevance to the nature of the school. There will be no feedback to individual subject departments, or separate subject reports. During their time in the school, inspectors will talk to the pupils and observe them as opportunities arise in social areas of the school. They will also usually arrange for meetings with groups of pupils to give them an opportunity to tell inspectors about their school. The groups asked to attend meetings will vary according to the size and age range of the school, but will often include half a dozen pupils chosen at random, but keeping a balance between boys and girls, from the oldest age range in the school. Where there is a school council, or equivalent body, inspectors will often seek to have a meeting with its members to find out more about how it functions. Where appropriate, inspectors will attend assemblies, tutorial sessions and a range of other activities. Schools should make no special arrangements to put on extra 4

6 activities, but should make sure that inspectors are aware of all that is going on during and beyond the normal school day. On the fourth day the inspectors will use the time to agree and record their findings. They will meet the head teacher at a mutually convenient time during the afternoon to feed back the main inspection findings. The head teacher will be strongly encouraged to invite the proprietor to this meeting and may wish to invite other governors, trustees and/or senior staff to attend this meeting. What will happen after an inspection The lead inspector will write a first draft of the report soon after the inspection finishes and will also complete a single version of the Inspection Notebooks, incorporating the notes, judgements and records of evidence made by the team inspectors. The draft report and the Notebooks will be sent to BSI s editor, copied to the Chief Inspector, so that the quality of the report, and its consistency with the Notebooks, can be assured. In the light of comments from the editor, and possibly from the Chief Inspector, the lead inspector will produce a second draft. This will be sent to the head teacher in confidence, who will then be given five working days in which to comment on, and correct, any factual errors, in consultation with senior staff and the proprietor, governors or trustees. The lead inspector will draw up the final report, correcting any factual errors and taking account of any comments made by the school. A copy will be sent electronically to the school, to the DfE, to the school s association, to the BSI Board and to any local authorities that fund places for children who have special educational needs or are in public care. At the same time, the Notebooks that refer to the regulations for registration will be sent to the DfE and the Notebook that refers to the expectations for membership of the association will be sent to the school s association. No summary report will be published and it will be the school s duty to send copies of the report to parents. The report will normally be placed on the BSI website 25 working days after the inspection. BSI monitors the quality of its work and the views of schools are an important part of this process. An Inspection Survey will be sent electronically to the school after the report has been finalised. BSI would be grateful if this could be completed within five working days and returned to the BSI office. TEMPLATE FOR THE REPORT The report will have the following sections: The purpose and scope of the inspection The main purpose of the inspection is twofold. It is to advise the DfE whether the school continues to meet the requirements for registration, and to determine whether the school continues to meet the expectations of its association. Ofsted monitors the 5

7 work of independent inspectorates, including a sample of inspections and you can find the latest evaluation of the work of the Bridge Schools Inspectorate on the Ofsted website. Information about the school The characteristics of the school and its pupils, and what the school aims to achieve If relevant this section will mention if this is the first inspection carried out by BSI Evaluation of the school This section consists of a summary of the main strengths and weaknesses of the school, drawing attention to how well the school meets its own aims and the extent to which it meets the requirements for registration with the DfE, that is, the Independent School Standards and, where applicable, the Early Years Foundation Stage. Leadership and management Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage Quality of education Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils Welfare, health and safety of the pupils Suitability of the proprietor and staff School s premises and accommodation Provision of information for parents, carers and others Procedures for handling complaints 6

8 Compliance with regulations This section will state clearly whether the school meets the independent school standards and the requirements of the Equality Act For any regulations that are not being met, the report will state what the school needs to do in order to meet them. Whether the school continues to meet the expectations of its association This section will state clearly whether the school continues to meet the expectations of the Christian Schools Trust (CST) or the Association of Muslim Schools UK (AMSUK). This section may contain points for the school to consider in order to strengthen its religious ethos. What the school could do to improve further This section will contain points for further improvement for the school to consider, in areas where the requirements are already being met. Where there are a large number of regulatory deficiencies, this section will be omitted. 7

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