Ruthvenfield Primary School Inspection Experience

As part of Education Scotland’s on-going Inspection Mythbuster’s campaign, which has been developed to help beat the common misconceptions of inspection which have built up over the years, we have invited the Headteacher at Ruthvenfield Primary School, Andrew Clark, to blog about his inspection experience.

“After the initial ‘excitement’ of receiving pre inspection notification had passed, my preparation for inspection followed four main areas:

  1. Engaging with staff: I met with all staff in the school to plan out our inspection week, listen to concerns and ensure that everyone would be prepared to deliver their best throughout the process. We scheduled meetings and arranged time to get together. The management team worked on the Self Evaluation, reviewing this with teaching staff before sharing with all staff for agreement.
  2. Engaging with pupils: This was about ensuring our learners would be ready to share their school and really show all their best qualities throughout the week. That was easy!
  3. Inspection week timetable: This phase was about managing the timetable across the week, ensuring parents had opportunity to meet with inspectors and that nothing was left out. We wanted to make sure everyone in our school had the chance to speak and share their involvement in our school.
  4. Paperwork: I spent time preparing paperwork for the inspection process and cross checking sources of evidence to make sure that no stone was left unturned.

I also found that the self-evaluation for inspections is an ideal starting point for discussions about your school’s context. Throughout our inspection I referred back to our self-evaluation to make sure that the stories that go along with the statements were easy to find and that examples were a true depiction that could be ‘lived’.

Meetings were held throughout the week and we used these to work together to develop the school’s picture. Quick ‘catch-up’ meetings in the morning were always welcome and allowed me to add detail to any points from the previous day’s meetings.

Our inspection team made themselves available in a non-threatening, supportive way throughout the visit. Inspectors spent time throughout the week interacting with staff about learning and particular learners. We also found the Professional Dialogue session on the Tuesday afternoon was an opportunity to ask some deeper questions about our practice.

Overall, our Inspection validated the very good practice across our school and provided insight into themes of development. As a result, our direction after inspection is even clearer and more focussed, and we are a stronger school community with a refined vision for how we move from Good to Very Good and from Very Good to Excellent.”

Andrew Clark, Headteacher at Ruthvenfield Primary School, Perth

For more information about the Inspection Mythbuster’s campaign please visit the Education Scotland website.

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