There is nothing better to focus your mind on your training business than an impending first Ofsted inspection. This is what happened about 8 months ago. We knew we were in scope for an inspection so felt we needed to plan for it. My wish for my staff was that when the call came, we would be in a position to say, “bring it on”.
I’m pleased to say this was exactly what happened, and it turned out to be the most positive experience myself and all of my team have had. This was down to a number of reasons.
- We were fully prepared
- We knew we did a good job
- We had good evidence to back this up
But how did we get ourselves into this position?
We started to plan by looking at the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) and identifying what provision looked good and outstanding. We then looked at other good and outstanding reports to identify what Ofst ed looked at in practice. We also worked with an ex-inspector who carried out a mini inspection on our delivery evidence. After we had carried out these exercises, we were able to come up with an Ofsted action plan, where members of the management team were tasked with gathering and checking evidence to ensure it was effective at meeting the CIF.
Another activity we felt was important was to engage with some Ofsted Nominee training. The Centre Manager and I attended the training in London, which fully prepared us for the job ahead. After the meeting we were able to add to the Ofsted-ready plan.
By the time September arrived we felt confident that we were a very ‘Good’ provider and we could evidence this through all aspects of our provision. It was through the effective planning and preparation we had carried out that made sure we were fully prepared for the visit and looking forward to shouting about it. Therefore, the key to a successful Ofsted inspection is Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.
Andrea Webb | Managing Director