Mock Ofsted Pre-Inspection Phone call between the Head & the Lead Inspector

The purpose of this service is to support headteachers in preparing for the 90 minute educationally focussed telephone conversation with the lead inspector the day before the inspection starts. The headteacher or principal of any school or college due to be inspected by Ofsted will find using this service an invaluable aid in preparation for the call and beyond.

All our Lead Inspectors are former Headteachers, many have worked at Executive level in Multi-Academy Trusts.

Amongst our lead inspector team are:

  • Former Senior Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI)*
  • Former Ofsted National Subject leads
  • Former Senior Local Authority School Improvement Advisors
  • Former Education Directors of Multi Academy Trusts
  • Former DfE National Leaders of Education (NLE)
  • Former Headteachers & Executive Headteachers

*NB Current HMIs are prohibited by Ofsted from carrying out any school improvement work

As the guidance to inspectors makes it clear that should the headteacher not be available for the 90 minutes educationally focussed telephone conversation then they should have the conversation with an appropriate senior member of staff we therefore recommended that at least one other member of the SLT participates in the mock at the same time. The school should have the responses ready in advance and agreed with the senior team.

Many schools opt for the ‘mock’ phone call as part of a full mock inspection, but it is also a valuable exercise on its own where it usually lasts around 2-3 hours as it is part mock part mentoring from our lead inspector.

How long does the Educationally Focussed Conversation last?

For an announced Ofsted inspection there are two phone calls, the initial phone call and the 90 minutes educationally focussed telephone call which may take place over two calls.  

From our experience to date, it appears there is about 30mins to an hour between the initial phone call and the educationally focussed call. We recommend having a second person present during this call to capture notes and support with any responses required.

In the case of an unannounced inspection, the school will be contacted 15 minutes before the team arrive.

The 90 Minute Ofsted Educationally Focussed Conversation

The 90-minute phone call is more than an administrative discussion; it will set the tone and inspection trails for the whole inspection. This big picture discussion is pivotal to the direction and outcome of the whole inspection, so it is crucial for headteachers and senior leadership teams to plan and prepare for it in advance. Our mock pre- inspection call is an extremely valuable exercise helping the Head or Principal and SLT prepare for the call as well as using it as a coaching opportunity to learn from our Lead Inspector in readiness for Ofsted.

Has your school, academy or PRU already been visited by Ofsted & placed into a category such as serious weaknesses or special measures?

We can support you in putting together an action plan / submission to the DfE, as well as carrying out an external review or monitoring visit . Find out more here

JMC Post Ofsted Support Team
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