Ofsted Shadowing Programme

For black and Asian senior leaders: get insights into school performance and effectiveness to help you apply for promotion to headship.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This guidance has been withdrawn as NCTL no longer funds this programme. Please visit the Network for Black Professionals website for more information.

Applies to England

Who can apply

You must be a black or Asian teacher from a primary or secondary school with:

  • experience of middle or senior management
  • qualified teacher status
  • substantial experience of teaching
  • knowledge of your school’s self-evaluation
  • the ability to demonstrate how participation in the programme will benefit your leadership development
  • support from your headteacher


You can apply for the programme at any time.

Please contact Karen Lewis at the Network for Black Professionals:

What’s involved

You’ll shadow an Ofsted inspector at a different school. Each Inspection will take between 1 and 2 days. This will give you an understanding of the inspection process and an insight into school performance and effectiveness. After the inspection, you’ll continue to receive career development support over a 2 to 3 month period.

Before the inspections

You’ll attend a briefing day led by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI). This will include workshops on:

  • the skills required by inspectors
  • the methods used during inspection
  • the principles of inspection

You’ll then be partnered with a host HMI who’ll decide what activities you’ll do during the inspection. You’ll receive materials to analyse in preparation for this.

During the inspection

You’ll take part in activities such as:

  • meetings with staff, students and other stakeholders
  • looking at documentation
  • observing a small number of lessons and team meetings

You and your host will discuss the inspection’s findings but you won’t contribute to the inspection conclusions.

After the inspection

You’ll be expected to reflect on what you’ve learned and discuss this with your host. You’ll continue to receive opportunities and materials to develop your career, including:

  • support from a trained mentor
  • a coaching and mentoring workshop
  • a framework for capturing, reflecting upon and sharing your learning
  • advice on how to use what you’ve learned to improve your school’s performance and to raise your own profile
  • the chance to network face to face and online with black and Asian education professionals
  • one-to-one talent management support


The programme is free of charge. Travelling and living expenses will be reimbursed. There is no provision for supply cover.

Published 27 March 2014