Widening horizons, broadening understanding Shadowing opportunities for school leaders with Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) – applications close on the 29th November


Ofsted’s West Midlands region is offering up to 10 serving senior leaders an opportunity to shadow one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors on inspection over the coming terms. This opportunity will complement the successful candidates’ leadership development and widen their understanding of inspection work in schools. Applications are particularly welcome from groups that are underrepresented in schools’ senior leadership and amongst Ofsted’s inspection workforce, including colleagues from minority ethnic groups.


  • Applications are invited from school leaders currently engaged in recognised CPD senior leadership programmes and/or aspiring to headship, but who are not serving Ofsted Inspectors. Applications should make clear the reason and purpose of the shadow in terms of the benefit to the applicant’s own professional development and the benefit to their own school.


  • All Shadows will attend the first day of an inspection which could include a school currently graded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, with the full agreement of the ‘host’ school.


  • Successful applicants will be required to have a basic knowledge of the Common Inspection Framework. A detailed knowledge of the inspection documents is not required, but a basic understanding is essential. Shadows will not play any part in collecting inspection evidence, making judgements or in team meetings/discussions (other than as an observer), and will be accompanied at all times.


  • A workbook will be provided to record the Shadow’s observations about the inspection process. It will be anonymised from the school and inspection team, and will not refer to the inspection judgements or evaluation of individual inspectors. The workbook will be submitted to the lead HMI at end of the inspection.


  • The Shadow will be expected to write a short summary evaluation of the experience after the end of the inspection, submitted to the regional Senior HMI. The evaluation should remain confidential to Ofsted and the Shadow.


  • All Shadows will be expected to attend a plenary event at The Axis Building, Ofsted’s Birmingham office, at the end of the Summer Term.


If you are interested in applying for this professional development opportunity, please request an application form from Tejal Chitania at tejal.chitania@ofsted.gov.uk. For applications to be considered please return by 5pm on Tuesday 29 November 2016.

Notes for applicants


  • Selection of participants will be made by Ofsted. There is no guarantee of participation for any applicant, although applications are particularly welcome from groups that are underrepresented amongst in schools’ senior leadership and amongst Ofsted’s inspection workforce, including colleagues from minority ethnic groups


  • Applicants should make clear, in their application, any connectivity they have with schools and local authorities in which Ofsted inspects. If successful, participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Confirmation will also be sought from their home schools in relation to all safeguarding checks, including DBS clearance. Ofsted reserves the right to withdraw participation at any stage of the process.