An OFSTED inspection can be a daunting time in a school for staff and pupils whether it be a primary or secondary establishment.

The OFSTED team consists of a group of people who have a knowledgeable background in education but there will be one who is a lay person. Usually with a background consisting of (i.e.  electrical engineer, nurse, doctor, bank manager, policeman,etc.).  These are usually the people who will interview the caretaker so it is wise to have all your files and records up to date.

Before the OFSTED the inspection, generally, a couple of months before the school will have a pre OFSTED visit by the chairman of the OFSTED panel who will outline what the inspection will consist of. This gives the whole school a general idea of what to expect and a chance to get your house in order.

Your school should also receive an OFSTED pack which your head teacher will have received.  As caretaker it is in your interest to speak with the headteacher on what will be required from your interview.

I have been through 2 OFSTED inspections now and each time I have been interviewed for about 1 hour.  I was asked various questions on H&S, fire safety, security, pat testing, C.O.S.H.H. etc.

1. H&S  -  Make sure your H&S policy is up to date and your school has had a recent H&S audit.

2. FIRE SAFETY - Make sure your fire safety log book is up to date.  Make sure your extinguishers have been annually checked, any smoke detectors, break glasses, emergency lighting and your main fire alarm panel are in working order.  All fire doors should be checked to make sure they conform with fire regulations. All fire routes and exits should be kept clear.  Also make sure you have all the appropriate signs.

3. SECURITY - Make sure your security policy is up to date.  Make sure your alarm has been tested annually and all other security measures are in place.

4.PAT TESTING  - Make sure your pat testing is up to date.  All electrical appliances in school should be marked up as so.

5. C.O.S.H.H.  - Make sure your C.O.S.H.H. register is up to date and all hazardous substances have a certificate.

6. Make sure you have any relevant H&S signs up and around the school in the appropriate places.

7. RISK ASSESSMENTS - Make sure they are well documented and in place.

8. Make sure the school is clean and respectable as this can go a long way.

I hope this has covered some of the issues that OFSTED will be looking for if you are interviewed.

Remember, OFSTED inspections are a daunting experience but if you have done your homework then you should not have a problem

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