Unannounced behaviour inspections by Ofsted

Behaviour is once again top of the agenda further to the announcement by Ofsted earlier this year that impromptu behaviour inspections will take place in schools deemed a ‘cause for concern’ by Ofsted itself, parents, the local authority and as a result of reports on exclusions or attendance. It’s an issue that must be taken seriously by schools

Research shows that when carefully crafted seating charts are in effect, teachers are twice as successful at reaching students and the attainment of lower ability students is doubled.  It’s also important that all school utilising online points-based behaviour tracking and reward systems ensure behaviour policy focuses on positivity.

The new behaviour inspections will focus sharply on evaluating students’ attitudes to learning and their conduct around the school and in lessons, both during the inspection and over time, how well, and how consistently, pupils’ behaviour is managed on a day-to-day basis and the extent to which the school’s culture promotes and supports good behaviour. The inspector will then make a judgement on the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school, stating whether behaviour and safety are outstanding, good or require improvement.

If the evidence gathered and scrutinised during the inspection indicates that behaviour and safety may be inadequate, inspectors will consider whether the effectiveness of the provision as a whole is inadequate and in such circumstances inform the school that it is likely to require a full inspection.

In making the judgement inspectors will evaluate pupils’ behaviour, the management of behaviour, and the culture of the school, taking account observations of pupils’ behaviour and their attitudes to learning in lessons (including where relevant, with new, temporary or less experienced teachers), with a particular focus on low-level disruption such as pupils chatting when they are supposed to be working or listening to the teacher.  Arriving late to lessons will also be taken into consideration as will general ‘horseplay’,  using mobile phones in lessons,  time wasted through teachers having to deal with inappropriate uniform, pupils lacking equipment or not having done their homework and packing up well before the end of the lesson.

Observations will be made of pupils’ behaviour throughout the day, including informal discussion with pupils, any system of ‘internal exclusion’ the school uses to manage behaviour, at least one formal discussion with a group of pupils whose behaviour the school has helped to improve over time, scrutiny of documentary evidence and discussions with leaders and staff.

Inspectors must take account of pupils’ attitudes to learning and their conduct in lessons, pupils’ conduct around the school, including the way in which they speak to each other and to staff, how well leaders and staff model good behaviour to pupils and also model good behaviour management techniques to staff

The effectiveness of the management of pupils’ behaviour will be reviewed, including how well leaders and managers analyse and use documentary evidence to improve the way behaviour is managed. Also observed will be the impact of exclusion on improving behaviour and if fixed term exclusion overall or for any group is above the national average, the extent to which its use is reducing over time. How well that school is developing the use of alternative strategies to exclusion will also be reviewed

Pupils’ views about behaviour and bullying (these views must be gathered from a range of pupils at informal times, not just from a formal discussion) will also be considered as will any specific issues raised in the previous inspection report about pupils’ behaviour and whether these have been tackled effectively and are showing clear signs of improvement.

 By  Stephen Clarke, Managing Director, Contact Group, providers of best in class communication and data services to the public sector,


Source - Unannounced behaviour inspections: guidance for inspectors


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