Inspection Consultancy

Our experienced consultants can run a bespoke inspection inset day in your school. Below you will find a list of our most enquired and booked inset days based around inspection in primary schools.  To view other areas which our consultants have run inset days around or to find out more on our general inset/consultancy options click here.


Inspection and Self Evaluation

We know how much school leaders value support around inspection and self-evaluation. Focus has been supporting schools in this way for 25 years. Like all our work, we make our approach fit your needs…

Could include…

  • Testing out your self-evaluation and checking it is robust
  • Working with you to check your data and self-evaluation tell the same story
  • Checking quality of provision matches your self-evaluation
  • Validating the judgement you have made against the criteria
  • Giving you peace of mind
  • Working with you to take the report further into manageable actions
  • Evaluating the impact of action on school improvement

& review

  • Leading a school review (in partnership with leadership team)
  • Carrying out a completely external review
  • Evaluating impact of school improvement work
  • Focusing on a specific area and producing a report, e.g. Early Years; impact of EAL provision; impact of new curriculum etc.
  • Training for whole staff or groups of staff on ways to manage the inspection process to ensure the best outcomes for your school.


Headteacher Inspection Training (3 Day)

The new Common Inspection Framework has further changed the way an inspection team arrives at that all-important overall judgement.
This three-day training will equip primary school leaders with the knowledge to enable you to prepare your school or academy for an inspection.
You will gain an understanding of the inspection process, which will enable you to plan for and manage an inspection within your setting.

Learn how an inspection team collects and evaluates the evidence to secure a judgement, looking in-depth at:

  • The effectiveness of leadership and management;
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment;
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare;
  • Outcomes for children and learners;
  • The effectiveness of safeguarding.

Over the three days you will gain an understanding of the following:

  • The focus of the new inspection framework and how the short, one day, section 8 inspections will look compared to the longer, section 5, full inspections;
  • The ‘big picture’ of inspection and the importance of self-evaluation procedures;
  • The methods used by inspectors to triangulate evidence to reach judgements;
  • The information (including data) that inspectors use to gain an understanding of starting points, progress and attainment in each phase and year group, including early years;
  • The evaluation of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment over time using a range of evidence;
  • The development of hypotheses and evidence trails and how this can support improvements in your own school or academy;
    • The succinct presentation of your assessment arrangements to ensure understanding by an inspector.Course leaders with inspection experience will give you practical hints and tips to support your preparation and will be on hand to answer questions and clarify your thinking.
    The training will also reflect the renewed emphasis on safeguarding and the breadth of the curriculum in schools, including pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development and the promotion of British values.



We know that it can be challenging for school and academy leaders to ensure that all members of the team in school understand the need for rigorous self-evaluation. We also know this is essential if a school or academy is to be universally successful. Here are some of the types of training input we can provide.

  • How good is your school and how do you know?
  • Moving from good to great
  • Pathway to excellence
  • Getting your head around inspection
  • Monitoring teaching; evaluating learning
  • Writing self-evaluation that matters
  • Self-evaluation for phase and middle leaders
  • Self-evaluation for subject leaders
  • Whole school self-evaluation
  • Self-evaluation for governors
  • Self-evaluation in the foundation stage
  • Scrutiny of work in KS1 and KS2


Record of Self Evaluation

We can work with you on your SED or record of self-evaluation. Our team have masses of experience of work with schools across England in a diverse range of contexts. They can help you cut through the evidence to produce a sharp and incisive self-evaluation statement which pulls on your evidence and ‘tells the story of your school’.

Data analysis
We can work with you to ensure that your data ‘stacks up’ and tells the story of your school.
This type of work might include an element of training and/or scrutiny of external and internal data. Focus can also work with you to ensure that you have manageable and robust tracking systems which work for you (see section on data and assessment for further information).

In-school review work
We can work with you to undertake a range of self-evaluation activities which built the emerging picture of strengths and developments within your school. Many schools and academies use this to back up and validate their own self-evaluation statement and often use the report with their governing body. These can include:

  • Lesson observations
  • Work scrutiny
  • Data analysis
  • Staff interviews
  • Pupil interviews
  • Parent interviews
  • Governor interviews


Support with Writing the SED

A Consultant in Your School

Schools judged ‘Good’ in their last Ofsted inspection will likely now be facing a Section 8 Inspection; you should expect to be challenged by Ofsted as to why you are still a ‘Good’ school: Focus Education has seen questions such as ‘What is your judgement of your school?’; or, ‘What is it that you are most proud of about your school?’ being typical.
Preparing for this Section 8 Inspection ideally requires a different format for your self-evaluation document and Focus is offering a new service to support school leaders with this.

Designed to take place within your school over one day, [working with yourself and your senior leadership team] Focus will help you create a robust document ready to present to Ofsted and support continued improvement in school. The service has been very popular with the schools we currently work with, as it provides headteachers with the confidence they need to face the scrutiny of Ofsted as well as help them focus the school’s areas for improvement.

The document created over this day would address the following key areas for Ofsted:

  • Why are we still good?
  • What makes us vulnerable?
  • What are we doing about those vulnerable areas?

Within these areas are sections addressing achievement and progress; teaching, learning and assessment; behaviour and safety; leadership and management, and EYFS.

Scheduling your day
8.00 – 9.30 Your consultant will scrutinise your latest Analyse School Performance (ASP) and any other relevant documents.
9.30 – 12.30 Your consultant will work with you, or you and your SLT, to challenge you as to why you are at least ‘Good’.
1.00 – 3.30 Your consultant will write up the outcomes from the morning and leave you with your completed SED.


Support with Writing the SED

Let us Write Your SED for You

We use our exclusive proforma, aligned with the new Ofsted framework, to take your information and break it down to the essentials that Ofsted is looking for.
Your information is transferred by us, leaving you with a strong self-evaluation ready for Ofsted.
We also provide a one-page summary of your entire SED for reference. This activity is designed to take place away from your school. Our experienced consultants will complete it and send it back to you.

We require copies of the following in order to complete your Self-Evaluation Document for Ofsted:

  • Your latest SED or SES
  • Your latest RAISEonline/Analyse School Performance (ASP)
  • Your latest set of test results
  • Your latest Ofsted report

You may need to provide specific examples in order for the SED to better reflect your school.


Analyse Your ASP

A Consultant in Your School

Amanda Spielman’s recent statements have shaken up the whole of the inspection framework. Her focus on the broader curriculum and the substance of education requires school to reconsider their monitoring and evaluating procedures. This training helps primary school leaders, particularly executive headteachers, headteachers, heads of school and principals plus their immediate senior leadership teams to reassess their monitoring and evaluating systems. This conference helps you to look at your school or academy in the way inspections teams will look at them in the future. The training will consider aspects such as the place of non-core subjects’ assessment as well as what we really mean by the substance of education.

The training will:

  • Provide you with a clear understanding of how to use your ASP to help determine ‘next steps’;
  • Help you consider your school’s context with a strong emphasis on ‘what are you doing about the issues that hinder pupils’ progress’;
  • Help you to consider a potentially different way of evaluating the quality of learning and teaching, putting even greater emphasis on learning;
  • Provide you with a monitoring framework which focuses on the learning and not the teaching as a way to assess the quality of the provision in classrooms.
  • Look at the impact that developments around ‘reasoning and thinking’ have had on your pupils’ progress from Early Years to Year 6;
  • Help you to consider how effective your broader curriculum is and to what extent you are developing pupils’ basic skills across the wider curriculum;
  • This training aims to delve deeply into the learning culture across the broader curriculum at school and academy level. It will make you take a realistic look at what makes your school or academy great. It will focus very much on excellence and how to achieve it.


Effective use of Pupil Premium

This half-day session is aimed at principals, headteachers, deputy headteachers, assistant headteachers and school leaders of primary schools, with responsibility for allocating and measuring the impact of pupil premium funding.

The government updates its guidance regularly on pupil premium funding and holds headteachers and school governing bodies accountable for the impact of this funding.

The training will address the following:

  • Performance tables, which show the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers;
  • Requirements of schools to publish details online each year showing how they are using the pupil premium and the impact it is having on pupil achievement;
  • The Ofsted inspection framework, where inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, and in particular those who attract the pupil premium;
  • Who qualifies for pupil premium funding;
  • What pupil premium funding can be used for;
  • What the best teaching and learning practice looks like for these learners;
  • What the research and evidence tells us about the progress that pupil premium pupils can make;
  • How we evidence ‘impact’ in raising achievement and closing the gaps;
  • How the school leadership can make a difference;
  • What materials are available to support good self-evaluation and demonstrate good value for money.


How to book

Call  Linda Davies on 01457 821 811 or fill in the form here. If you need more information take a look at our consultancy page which will break down the what we can offer. Click here to view what we can do.

Take a look at our books on inspection by clicking here.

Inspection ConsultancyDefining High Expectations in Your School