How to make evidence gathering for your Ofsted inspection easier

Discover how to meet your Ofsted Leadership and Management requirements more simply and more effectively.

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Gathering evidence for your school’s Ofsted inspection can be an onerous task, especially in the area of leadership and management, where that evidence ranges from the historical to the present day, from school-compiled to parent sourced and needs to incorporate everything from responding to staff concerns to tackling low level disruption.

However, bringing everything together is much simpler when you break down ‘Leadership and Management’ into its component elements: 

Performance management

Many head teachers are committed to the performance appraisal process but discover that come Ofsted inspection time, this process hasn’t resulted in providing any evidence of a ‘performance culture’.

There’s a simple reason for this: Performance Appraisal and a Performance Culture are two different entities! Working with heads, we can assist in the introduction of the key elements of performance management including the benefits of continuous regular feedback based on SMART objectives.

So, by the next Ofsted inspection, evidence of building a Performance Culture will exist.

Setting powerful goals and objectives

As a Head, you will be expected to have identified improvements, set appropriate goals and objectives and have plans in place to deliver these.

Setting powerful goals is a skill in its own right, and is one that can be learned. Taking the opportunity to understand the foundations of goal setting and the techniques you can employ, along with making subtle shifts in your thought paradigm, means you will set more precise and effective goals.

When you adopt a strategic approach to goal setting, it’s much easier to build a ‘paper trail’ of evidence. 

Leading change and driving employee engagement

Saying ‘change is a constant’ within the school environment is a gross understatement, yet there’s no doubt that while some schools appear to thrive and flourish through seizing the opportunities of change, others, understandably, may buckle under its weight.

So, what is it that the most successful schools do to take change in their stride? Typically, they create the right climate for change. They identify and put in place the skills to implement and sustain change. And they use techniques such as Kotler’s 8 Steps Change Model to engage and enable the school and its staff.

Create a more strategic approach to managing change, and you not only handle change better – you are better able to demonstrate the effect of your actions!


Amongst its numerous angles of investigation, Ofsted will be looking for evidence that the school has motivated staff. ‘Motivation’ can be a tricky thing to pin down, as it is about how staff ‘feel’ but there are further clues as to what Ofsted will be considering within the handbook. Evidence that staff are listened to, and that their concerns are acted upon for example. A culture of respect. The fact that there is a clear vision and mission for staff that is clearly communicated to them.

Learning what motivates your team – and how to actually motivate them – can have a hugely beneficial effect on so many areas of school life, and on so many elements of the Ofsted inspection.

Conflict and dealing with difficult people

Dealing with ‘difficult’, disruptive people isn’t easy, and for many it’s not something that comes naturally. But with training, you can gain an understanding of where ‘you’ operate best and what sends ‘you’ into conflict. This can identify and resolve the causes of perceived difficult behaviour, develop strategies for dealing with it and increase your confidence and capability in doing so.

As a result, you’ll not only find that you are better able to manage ‘difficult’ people; you’ll also be able to present evidence to Ofsted of having identified a problem and a training need, and having taken steps to address both.

Persuading, negotiating and influencing

Parents are an essential part of the Ofsted review process, and you’ll naturally want them onside, saying good things about the school.

Building a consistent culture of communication and engagement will not only help a school run more smoothly and establish an ongoing dialogue with parents; it can also ensure that by inspection time, more parents are likely to be on your side.

That can only happen, of course, if your communications actually persuade, influence and engage – passive communications won’t influence anyone. So to ensure you adopt the right strategies, words and actions, consider training that can help embed the ‘triggers of persuasion’.   

Access help to make you Ofsted-ready

Can we help you meet your Ofsted Leadership and Management requirements more simply and more effectively? Our Practical Manager programme covers all of these subjects and more. To find out more about the Effective Leadership and Management package, talk to us, contact Barbara Craig on 07824 466 430 or or Martin Hughes on 07827 945 174 or now, and quote promo code FREEHR.


Kate Armstrong