How Teacher Planners Can Help You Through an OFSTED Inspection

OFSTED visits are something that most UK schools will be intimately familiar with. Taking place over a period of two days, they are designed to thoroughly assess the quality of education on offer.

One particularly useful tool that can help you through your OFSTED visit is the teacher planner. A quality teaching planner can help educators to stay organised, plan lessons effectively and enhance pupils’ overall learning experience, ensuring their teaching reflects well on the school.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what OFSTED look for during their visits and how teacher planners can help educators prepare. We’ll also explore how they provide OFSTED inspectors with insight into teachers’ planning methods, organisational skills and more.

What Happens During an OFSTED Visit?

An OFSTED inspection, often considered a crucial event in a school’s academic calendar, is a thorough evaluation of the school’s educational and managerial standards. Visits take place roughly every 1-4 years, depending on the results of the school’s most recent inspection.

OFSTED inspectors focus their attention on four key areas:

  • Quality of education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management

Most OFSTED visits last two days. During this time, inspectors will observe lessons, review pupils’ work, have discussions with teachers and students, and look into school records and documents to make a comprehensive assessment.

Do OFSTED Require Lesson Plans?

Part of an OFSTED inspector’s job is to observe a wide range of lessons, checking that they are following the curriculum and meeting students’ needs.

OFSTED inspectors do not require schools to plan lessons in a specific way, nor provide individual lesson plans. However, they do look for evidence that lessons are generally well-organised and effective.

Inspectors will seek to ensure that teachers have a good understanding of their students’ subject knowledge, learning objectives and academic progress. They will also check that teachers are taking into account students’ assessment results when planning future lessons. 

For the well-organised teacher, lesson planner systems can play a crucial role in ensuring these criteria are met ahead of an inspection. Planners can also provide inspectors with valuable insight into their teaching methods.

How Teacher Planners Can Help You with OFSTED Visits

A teacher planner is more than just a diary: it’s a strategic tool that helps teachers navigate their busy schedules, organise their workload and manage their time effectively. These skills are important not only for managing teacher wellbeing, but also for enhancing students’ learning experience.

Good teaching planners contain many useful pages such as daily and termly agendas, class information sections, lesson plans and continuing professional development records. Let’s delve into the many ways this resource can be beneficial during an OFSTED inspection.

Lesson Planning

A teacher planner is a powerful tool for lesson planning. It allows teachers to map out their lessons comprehensively, ensuring they align with students’ abilities and national curriculum guidelines.

While it’s not necessary to produce a specific lesson plan for OFSTED inspectors, a teacher planner provides the ideal place to brainstorm ideas, track learning objectives and reflect on previous lessons. So, it’s always a good idea for teachers to have their planner to hand. It can prove useful should the inspector ask about the planning process or how their lessons connect to their teaching goals.

Monitoring Students’ Progress

OFSTED inspectors will look for evidence that teachers have a good understanding of their students’ subject knowledge, strengths and weaknesses, academic achievements and goals. Planners for teachers often include sections dedicated to tracking student progress, such as:

  • Attendance records
  • Examination results and coursework marks
  • National curriculum levels

Teachers can use their planner as reference when explaining strategies employed to support student progress, and how they’ve modified your approach based on assessments. These are all valuable insights for OFSTED inspectors.

Keeping Information Up-to-Date

Staying organised is crucial before and during an OFSTED inspection. Good teacher planners contain plenty of space for recording information such as schedules, upcoming meetings and deadlines, student details, parents’ evenings and more.

A well-organised planner is a reflection on a teacher’s ability to manage their responsibilities effectively. It also shows OFSTED inspectors that your school is committed to keeping accurate, up-to-date records and details of every student.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Teacher Planner (UK)

Considering the crucial role they can play in OFSTED inspections, it’s essential to choose a planner that suits your needs. Look for a comprehensive planner that offers space for term and lesson planning, student records and other features that align with your personal teaching aims.

At Penstripe, we specialise in bespoke, made-to-order teacher planners. You can customise your design with your school’s logo, colours, ethos and key details, and choose from a vast library of content to include at your discretion.

If you’re a teacher looking for a single planner for personal use, you can also find a wide range of styles and sizes in our online shop. Learn more about what to include in a teacher planner here.

Choose Penstripe for Your Teacher Planner 2023

At Penstripe, we have years of experience in printing high-quality teacher planners, student planners and more.

Contact us today and our experts will help you design the perfect custom teacher planner for your school. Choose from 5, 6 or 9 periods per planner, with your choice of covers, binding options and custom content. Alternatively, shop online to browse a variety of individual teacher planners for the upcoming academic year. To learn more about our products or services, contact Penstripe today. Fill in our enquiry form, call us on 0113 231 0995 or email