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Effective Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Anyone provider of technical and vocational education and training subject to inspection by OfSTED must ensure that they have robust and accurate Self Assessments. They also need to ensure that they can demonstrate the same level of robustness with their observation of teaching, learning and assessment. Demonstrating that the provider understands the importance that observation of teaching and training plays in developing both the quality of teaching/training and informing the provider's self-assessment. Where OfSTED find that teaching and training session grades and judgements are inaccurate or inconsistent, self-assessment decisions are likely to be misgraded.

What will OfSTED look for?

Inspectors place huge value on Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and will expect to see records of this being conducted. They will expect:

  • Records of observations of teaching, learning and assessment or support, information and advice sessions

  • Inspectors’ evidence-gathering will include observations of teaching, learning and assessment, as well as support arrangements, discussions with learners, scrutiny of learners’ work and the arrangements made for them to gain experience of work.

Where the inspector conducts a joint observation, they will not only be interested in assessing the quality of teaching and training. Still, they will also place significant focus on the provider’s ability to observe the session. A word of warning – when the observer feeds back to the observer, they should not just highlight what was done well – they must identify what the observee can do to improve further and extend their skills and delivery.

Reporting OTLA in the SAR

This is a significant judgement that needs to be well considered in the self-assessment report. We would suggest that the training of observers is also critical and would recommend that this becomes a standard CPD record in Stedfast. It should also be remembered that poorly conducted observations will impact the observee and could be costly in your overall OfSTED grade.

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