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Digital Monitoring – 14 Questions Ofsted May Ask You During an Inspection and Why

3 minute read
By Smoothwall

Monitoring can have an impact on many different aspects of an Ofsted inspection, so it’s important to understand the kind of questions they may ask you to ensure you are prepared.

Here is a list of 14 questions Ofsted could ask:

  1. Is safeguarding practice effective in implementation?
  2. How often is your school/college’s safeguarding policies and related policies reviewed?
  3. Are your leaders aware of how to identify and respond to online safety concerns?
  4. Are your staff trained to identify when a pupil may be at risk of neglect, abuse or exploitation and do they know how to report concerns? Do they evidence those concerns?
  5. Are your children safe from discrimination and bullying?
  6. Do your children understand how to stay safe online?
  7. Do your leaders understand how to identify if children are at risk of County Lines?
  8. How does your school/college monitor for incidents of peer on peer abuse?
  9. How effectively does your school/college protect children from extremism and radicalisation?
  10. Does your DSL have enough time, training and resource to fulfil the demands required of the role?
  11. Looking at your child protection record, can you tell me how this incident of peer on peer abuse was dealt with in more detail? (Your school will be expected to show a record of incidents, and evidence of how they were acted upon, which external agencies were involved etc.)
  12. How do your leaders Identify children and learners who may need early help or are at risk of neglect, abuse, grooming or exploitation? (Give examples).

Reasons why Ofsted may ask these questions

Ofsted wants to ensure your school safeguarding is effective, including the online aspect of safeguarding. They expect to see a correct understanding of statutory guidelines and that the correct policies are in place to implement them. They want to see evidence that your school effectively identifies risk and checks that effective action has been taken.

Monitoring helps identify students at risk. Effective solutions are up to date and understand the risks that schools need to detect. They can categorise risk and work at speed so that serious concerns can be raised and actioned quickly. Monitoring can identify students at risk by their online behaviour and can pick up concerns that a school may not otherwise be aware of.

Ofsted are likely to talk to a range of staff members, governors, and pupils and will ask for feedback through parent view or sometimes speak to parents directly.

Sometimes there can be a disconnect between what the school thinks the safeguarding culture is and the reality experienced by pupils and teachers. For example, teachers may feel there is no bullying in the school, but parents and pupils may see it as a problem. Digital monitoring systems can be effective in identifying bullying without pupils having to tell anyone.

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