27 Feb 2017

Do you need staff surveys for Ofsted?


Do you need staff surveys for Ofsted?

You don't need them, but it would certainly be a good idea, because Ofsted mentions staff surveys several times in the current Ofsted School Inspection Handbook and even go so far as to say:

"Inspectors will always report on the school's activity to survey staff" (para 144, page 38)

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Staff surveys will also be useful to help you understand how well your staff understand your vision for your school, something Ofsted wants to know about:

Staff engagement surveys can form part of your self-evaluation, helping to ensure it is rigorous and accurate, which Ofsted expects:
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Ofsted expects that leaders at outstanding schools use the views of staff to inform a deep, accurate understanding of their school:

"Leaders and governors have a deep, accurate understanding of the school's effectiveness informed by the views of pupils, parents and staff."

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Formal, regular surveys of staff help build trust and motivation, which is crucial for your school to be Outstanding:

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How to run a staff survey in a school

So, if you've decided that formal surveys of your staff would be a good idea, what next? Basically a few options:

Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to run a survey yourself. You'll need to choose some questions, but you won't go far wrong using the questions from the UK Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey (aka "The Civil Service People Survey"). Very robust and publicly available. And free

My own website, SchoolStaffSurveys uses the UK Civil Service questions mentioned above, but it's all set up for you ready to go. You get a free trial, then £50 per survey.

The National Foundation for Education Research will run a staff survey for you. But they only use 16 questions, and it costs £250. It isn't obvious what you get from this which you wouldn't get just doing it yourself.

Very pricey
Engage a specialist firm to do it for you. Google "Employee Engagement Survey" and you'll find plenty. But almost none of them publish pricing online, so you can be confident it'll be more than £250!


About the author: Bruce Greig is an entrepreneur and has been a school governor since 2011. He served as Chair of Governors through two Ofsted inspections and four headteachers. He set up SchoolStaffSurveys.com after discovering how enlightening an anonymous staff survey can be and decided to make it easy for every school to run them.

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