Our visits help us get to know the school and contribute to our monitoring and evaluation of the School Development Plan and our statutory duties.

Our yearly programme of monitoring and evaluation should focus on gathering evidence:

  1. to establish the progress of the School Development Plan (SDP) so we can evaluate impact;
  2. to ensure we are fulfilling our statutory duties;
  3. to contribute to school self evaluation (the SEF) 

The information gathered will enable us to:

  • shape the direction of the school in partnership with senior leaders
  • have an enhanced understanding of areas of strength and weakness so that we can support and hold to account senior leaders effectively
  • improve pupil outcomes
  • secure statutory compliance

Examples of activities to schedule within our yearly programme:

  • ‘Learning walks’ with an agreed focus
  • Directed observations of aspects of school life – e.g. behaviour, guided work
  • Focused discussions with children about their learning; impact of particular initiative e.g. Sports Premium
  • Data analysis – RAISEonline, Fischer Family Trust, internal tracking

(e.g. 3 x per year) so that interventions and resources can be strategically targeted

  • Reports from/meetings with subject leaders (e.g. via committees)
  • Audits: e.g. Statutory compliance; Equalities/Inclusion; Safeguarding; Community Cohesion
  • Engagement with stakeholder (parents/carers, pupils) questionnaires – distribution/analysis/next steps

For individual governors (the 'Do' list includes advice for different kinds of visits)

Do:      

  • Negotiate a mutually convenient time with the headteacher, member of staff etc to ensure that the visit is expected
  • Thank the member of staff, headteacher etc at the end of the visit
  • Give praise where it is due
  • Make a point of listening rather than talking
  • Include a debriefing session with a member of the senior management team
  • Discuss any concerns the visit may raise with the headteacher / line manager
  • Be polite, tactful and sensitive
  • Avoid stressful periods such as during or just after an OFSTED inspection, SATs, the first and last weeks of term, unless specifically requested to attend
  • Visit at different times of the day / term / year
  • Try to attend any special occasions, especially if regular daytime visits are difficult
  • Try to attend when you have been specially invited
  • Complete your governor's visit form and report back to relevant Governor's meeting (where appropriate).

Don’t:

  • Go in like an inspector
  • Sit at the back writing notes
  • Go in unannounced
  • Interfere with the organisation of the class
  • Try to talk to the member of staff while they are teaching – wait until the end of the session
  • Prevent the member of staff from carrying on with their normal timetable
  • Criticise the performance of the teacher, even in a constructive manner, during your visit
  • Make promises to staff on behalf of the governing body.