Librarians and the 2009 Ofsted Inspection
Posted June 30, 2010on:
At today’s North West Sixth Form College Librarians’ meeting we had a really interesting presentation from an Ofsted inspector talking about the 2009 Ofsted Common Inspection Framework. The group had invited her in to find out more about how the current inspection process impacted on library services.
On my travels I’ve heard many times about how the library or Learning Resources service has been seemingly completely ignored during inspections and how frustrating this is to those working in the service. Conversely, at a recent seminar we, the JISC RSC NW, ran in the region there were conflicting views on how much interaction the inspection team had with library services during two separate college inspections. Well today, for me, cleared up the confusion. To put it bluntly… if an inspector doesn’t visit your college library or learning resource centre during the inspection it usually means that there’s nothing to be worried about. Inspectors will usually only visit the library or learning resource centre if they are following up on a concern or an activity or service they think is a strength within the overall college. So, if you want to see an inspector and appear on the resulting report, start promoting the excellent work you are doing to everyone in the college.
Things a college library service can do to appear positively in an Ofsted inspection report:
- Get involved in cross-college initiatives – expecially those within the areas that may limit the overall inspection effectiveness grade – safeguarding and equality and diversity.
- Have a look at my previous post about Facebook and accept my challenge. http://chrissiet.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/librarians-the-facebook-expert/
- Add safeguarding to your information skills training.
- Educate your learners (and colleagues) on how to stay safe online wherever possible.
- Familiarise yourself with your college equality and diversity policies
- Investigate your college reporting procedures for equality and diversity and amend your reporting accordingly
- Don’t just praise the service within your own SER, make sure you’re praised within others around the college as well.
- You can also contribute to the grade for Leadership and Management through the Value for Money Contributory Grade (C7 from the Common Inspection Framework). Therefore, prove that all the resources in the library provide value for money and make sure your manager knows!