Tips on how libraries can prepare for an Ofsted Inspection

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This presentation provides librarians in the FE sector advice and guidance on how they can plan and prepare for an Ofsted inspection. Key areas of the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) are identified where libraries can play a key role and insights from other librarians in the sector who have experienced a recent Ofsted inspection are also included.

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Tips on how libraries can prepare for an Ofsted Inspection

  1. 1. Tips on how libraries can prepare for an Ofsted inspection<br />Click to edit Master title style<br />Scott Hibberson<br />E-Learning Advisor (LR)<br />Click to edit Master subtitle style<br />www.rsc-yh.ac.uk<br />| slide 1<br />RSCs – Stimulating and supporting innovation in learning<br />
  2. 2. Aims of this Presentation<br /><ul><li>To provide librarians in the FE sector advice and guidance on how they can plan and prepare for an Ofsted inspection
  3. 3. To identify specific areas where libraries can play a key role within the Common Inspection Framework (CIF)
  4. 4. To share insights from other librarians in the sector who have experienced a recent Ofsted inspection</li></li></ul><li>Data within this report<br /><ul><li> Appropriate case studies on good e-practice from the Excellence Gateway
  5. 5. Quotations from librarians working in the FE sector who have recently experienced an inspection
  6. 6. Practical examples of how you can map the library service to key areas of the Common Inspection framework (CIF)
  7. 7. Blogs, websites and articles (see useful links section) </li></li></ul><li>Case Studies on good e-practise<br /><ul><li>Stafford College LRC (http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=192897)</li></ul>COLRIC toolkit used to map learning resources quality indicators to the Ofsted CIF, providing benchmarks for the learning resource centre.<br /><ul><li>Kidderminster College (http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=276320) </li></ul>Dedicated member of the team to deliver information skills and assignment workshops to support students' independent learning. <br />(A comprehensive list of library related case studies from the Excellence Gateway is available on the JISC RSC Wales blog at http://blogs.rsc-wales.ac.uk/lr/2010/09/17/sharing-good-practice-library-case-studies/).<br />
  8. 8. Experiences from other librarians<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />
  9. 9. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />
  10. 10. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />“We only had one inspector ask any questions about library resources and she was keen to know about modern apps and employer responsiveness and how we provide for them - opening hours to enable people to come into the library after work, renewals by phone, able to borrow 20 items, offsite access to electronic resources/books e.g. ebrary, Dawson books through OpenAthens.”<br />
  11. 11. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />“We only had one inspector ask any questions about library resources and she was keen to know about modern apps and employer responsiveness and how we provide for them - opening hours to enable people to come into the library after work, renewals by phone, able to borrow 20 items, offsite access to electronic resources/books e.g. ebrary, Dawson books through OpenAthens.”<br />“…college as a whole took on board the equality and diversity / safeguarding issue and thought about ways we could demonstrate that the college takes these issues seriously and make college safe and non-judgemental to both existing students and new students/staff members.  We had whole college safeguarding/equality and diversity training as well. We have a designated safeguarding officer for each site.”<br />
  12. 12. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />“Lots of posters and notices about cyber-bullying and e safety and equality and diversity.”<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />“We only had one inspector ask any questions about library resources and she was keen to know about modern apps and employer responsiveness and how we provide for them - opening hours to enable people to come into the library after work, renewals by phone, able to borrow 20 items, offsite access to electronic resources/books e.g. ebrary, Dawson books through OpenAthens.”<br />“…college as a whole took on board the equality and diversity / safeguarding issue and thought about ways we could demonstrate that the college takes these issues seriously and make college safe and non-judgemental to both existing students and new students/staff members.  We had whole college safeguarding/equality and diversity training as well. We have a designated safeguarding officer for each site.”<br />
  13. 13. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />“Lots of posters and notices about cyber-bullying and e safety and equality and diversity.”<br />“The inspector asked about the range of different media sources available to learners, including CDs and e-resources and the amount of traffic  in the learning centre.   The inspector also asked about the subject areas we supported and our links with curriculum and was generally impressed that most of the stock reflected the taught curriculum, but also that there are more generic resources that learners find useful such as dictionaries, careers and the graphic novel and fiction collection.”<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />“We only had one inspector ask any questions about library resources and she was keen to know about modern apps and employer responsiveness and how we provide for them - opening hours to enable people to come into the library after work, renewals by phone, able to borrow 20 items, offsite access to electronic resources/books e.g. ebrary, Dawson books through OpenAthens.”<br />“…college as a whole took on board the equality and diversity / safeguarding issue and thought about ways we could demonstrate that the college takes these issues seriously and make college safe and non-judgemental to both existing students and new students/staff members.  We had whole college safeguarding/equality and diversity training as well. We have a designated safeguarding officer for each site.”<br />
  14. 14. Experiences from other librarians<br />“Be prepared - have a look at your SAR and make sure that you have all the evidence to hand (stats, good practice, events etc, student/staff guides, and details of any assistive technology you provide).  It might be useful to list what connections you have with other parts of College and where your library fits into the Curriculum process as the Inspectors aren't looking at libraries specifically, but rather the role they play in the support of teaching and learning and the impact on success.  Also, what part does the library play in ensuring that Equality and Diversity is supported throughout the College?  Finally try to make sure that the library manager attends some of the meetings with Inspectors so they can get the message across in person and where that is not possible, make sure you give the necessary information to Senior Managers to present on your behalf.”<br />“Inspectors may not have time for a proper visit to the library where you can talk about all your services, so if this is the case try and at least ensure that you provide them with printed material that promotes a good level of learner engagement and if possible demonstrates the library's impact on student retention and successes instead."<br />“Lots of posters and notices about cyber-bullying and e safety and equality and diversity.”<br />“The inspector asked about the range of different media sources available to learners, including CDs and e-resources and the amount of traffic  in the learning centre.   The inspector also asked about the subject areas we supported and our links with curriculum and was generally impressed that most of the stock reflected the taught curriculum, but also that there are more generic resources that learners find useful such as dictionaries, careers and the graphic novel and fiction collection.”<br />"Whether the library is involved directly in meetings with Ofsted during inspection or not, it's likely that an inspector will make a passing visit to the library unannounced. Therefore it's important that the library is welcoming and as presentable as possible - enquiry desks should be free from clutter, shelving in order and catchy displays at reception set up, marketing your services with accessible guides and information sheets to take away.” <br />“We only had one inspector ask any questions about library resources and she was keen to know about modern apps and employer responsiveness and how we provide for them - opening hours to enable people to come into the library after work, renewals by phone, able to borrow 20 items, offsite access to electronic resources/books e.g. ebrary, Dawson books through OpenAthens.”<br />“…college as a whole took on board the equality and diversity / safeguarding issue and thought about ways we could demonstrate that the college takes these issues seriously and make college safe and non-judgemental to both existing students and new students/staff members.  We had whole college safeguarding/equality and diversity training as well. We have a designated safeguarding officer for each site.”<br />
  15. 15. Some Practical Suggestions<br />Build up cross-college links with curriculum areas (Kidderminster College case study) and make sure the library is given due recognition in the SARs of other departments for its contribution to teaching and learning<br />Explore the Cofhe/Colric Toolkit or similar local peer evaluation schemes to provide useful Performance Indicators (PIs) and benchmarking data to inform future provision<br />
  16. 16. Some Practical Suggestions (cont)<br />Provide advice & guidance for your learners and staff on how to stay safe online through awareness-raising events / help sheets / posters in the library. Incorporate safeguarding training into your information skills delivery (A3. How safe do learners feel? and C3. How effectively does the provider promote the safeguarding of learners?of the CIF).<br />Promotional displays and events throughout the year in the library on health-related issues such as smoking, alcohol abuse and drugs, insufficient physical exercise, diet, etc. (A4. Are learners able to make informed choices about their own health and well-being? of the CIF).<br />
  17. 17. Some Practical Suggestions (cont)<br /><ul><li>Attend equality and diversity committee meetings and ensure resource provision meets accessibility requirements, e.g. ebooks, large print, audio, etc (C4. How effectively does the provider actively promote equality and diversity, tackle discrimination and narrow the achievement gap? of the CIF) </li></ul>Wherever possible provide evidence of value for money in the procurement of a wide range of resources (C7. How efficiently and effectively does the provider use its available resources to secure value for money? of the CIF)<br />
  18. 18. Useful Links<br /><ul><li>Ofsted website, including a downloadable copy of the Common Inspection Framework: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Forms-and-guidance/Browse-all-by/Other/General/Common-inspection-framework-for-further-education-and-skills-2009
  19. 19. CoFHE (Colleges of Further & Higher Education Group of CILIP) and</li></ul>CoLRiC (Council for Learning Resources in Colleges) Self-Assessment Toolkit for Learning Resource Services in Further Education Colleges in England http://www.colric.org.uk/documents/lrsqualitytoolkitfinalversion2.pdf<br /><ul><li>Ofstedreport (2010) The safe use of new technologies: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Documents-by-type/Thematic-reports/The-safe-use-of-new-technologies
  20. 20. Case Studies on good e-practice on the Excellence Gateway: http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=casestudies</li></li></ul><li>Useful Links (cont)<br /><ul><li> RSC Wales Learning Resources Blog (2010). Sharing Good Practice: Library Case Studies. http://blogs.rsc-wales.ac.uk/lr/2010/09/17/sharing-good-practice-library-case-studies/
  21. 21. Chrissie’s Muses Blog (2010). Librarians and the 2009 Ofsted Inspection.http://chrissiet.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/librarians-and-the-2009-ofsted-inspection/
  22. 22. Phil Bradley’s Weblog (2010). Ofsted report on safe use of new technologies.http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2010/05/ofsted-rpt-on-safe-use-of-new-technologies.html</li>

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