Quotes From 20 Ofsted Reports about Outstanding Leadership and Management [PART 2/7]

Extracts taken directly from inspection reports from non-mainstream settings.  This gives additional insight into what inspectors are looking for beyond the Inspection Framework and Inspection Handbook.

Inspector’s comments in relation to outstanding governance

  1. Pupil premium funding is exceptionally well used. Governors know that disadvantaged pupils, including the most able disadvantaged, those who are looked after by the local authority and those who are the least able, make similar progress from their starting points to their peers. Year7 catch up funding is used to good effect in supporting the development of pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.  Pupils have made measured improvements in these areas due to additional staffing, lunchtime clubs and library resources.  Governors ensure that funding set aside to benefit pupils who have levels of special educational needs and/or disability is used to good effect.
  2. Governors attend training days set aside for their own development. They have opportunities to update their knowledge, skills and understanding in agreed areas relating to the school’s work.
  3. The management committee has wide-ranging expertise and the members use their considerable skills and educational experience to benefit the college. They use this both to challenge the leaders of the college and to give strong support. They willingly make their expertise, for example in data analysis, available to college staff to help to raise expectations for what students could achieve and the progress they could make.
  4. Members know the strengths in teaching and where it could be improved still further. They review how performance management and training are used to improve teaching. They have been prepared to be firm in their decisions and ensure that progression up the pay scale is based on merit. The management committee closely monitors how well all students achieve but look particularly closely at how well additional funding is spent to provide individual support for students who need it. They also ensure that the college meets statutory requirements, including for safeguarding.
  5. Governors know the school very well. This is because each governor is linked to a specific area of the school’s work and governors make regular focused visits to the school to see its work for themselves. Discussion follows at full governing body meetings and, as a result, governors are able to hold leaders to account for improvements in the school.
  6. Governors share the vision and commitment to facilitate the best possible outcomes for all pupils and students. To this end, they provide support and challenge to leaders, regularly checking on progress and outcomes.
  7. Governors have checked that they have appropriate skills and experience to provide strategic leadership for the school. They are active in planning training to extend their understanding and respond to new issues. They attend training events, both within the school and externally, to ensure that their knowledge remains up to date
  8. Governance is outstanding. The chair of governors meets routinely with the headteacher to discuss aspects of school improvement. In line with the governing body’s agreed procedures, other governors are tasked to focus on subjects or aspects, such as safeguarding, for which there is a named governor. In this way, governors can provide verbal feedback at the full governing body meetings.
  9. Governors are well informed about the work of the school, especially about the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. They hold leaders to account through robust appraisal objectives and procedures.  All staff have objectives that link directly to agreed school improvement actions.
  10. Governors are accountable to the board of trustees. Regular governor meetings across the trust provide them with valuable and much appreciated peer support from experienced governors.  As a result, the impact of their work has strengthened significantly.  A recent audit of skills has also sharpened the roles and responsibilities of governors, so that they are better focused on monitoring specific areas of the school’s work.  Their evaluations are becoming more robust, providing them with a clear overview of the school’s effectiveness.  Minutes of governors’ meetings confirm they are now challenging leaders more, through probing questions specifically about their remits.


Key Takeaways: governance
Make sure that governors know the school/setting well by encouraging regular visits and providing them with good information.
Ensure that governors know the impact of spending on pupil outcomes.
Support opportunities for governors to update their knowledge and skills.
Make sure that there is evidence (e.g. in meeting minutes) of governors challenging (and supporting) leaders.

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