Effective Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Anyone provider of technical and vocational education and training who is subject to inspection by OfSTED needs to ensure that they have robust and accurate Self Assessment. They also need to ensure that they can demonstrate the same level of robustness with their observation of teaching, learning and assessment. Being able to demonstrate that the provider understands the importance that observation of teaching and training plays in developing both the quality of teaching/training and informing provider self-assessment. Where OfSTED find that teaching and training session grades and judgements are inaccurate or inconsistent then self-assessment decisions based on them are likely to be mis-graded.

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 but will also place significant focus on the provider’s ability to conduct an observation of the session. A word of warning – when the observer feeds back to the observee they should not just highlight what was done well – they must identify what the observee can do to further improve 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 kept in mind that poorly conducted observations will have an impact on the observee and could be costly in your overall OfSTED grade.


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