Back in the 'old days' inspection was done by someone from Wolverhampton Council , checking that the school was run properly. But in 1992 the government of John Major, concerned about variable local inspection regimes, decided to introduce a national scheme of inspections though a reconstituted HMI, which became known as the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Under the Education (Schools) Act 1992, HMI would supervise the inspection of each state-funded school in the country, and would publish its reports for the benefit of schools, parents, and government instead of reporting to the Secretary of State. The School Inspections Act of 1996 consolidated the provisions of the Education (Schools) Act 1992 and Part V of the Education Act 1993, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission.
WGHS always does incredibly well during a School Inspection - we ought to, we are 'brill' after all - but that doesn't stop the panic that sets in with many members of staff - especially those on the SMT (Senior Management Team) - when inspectors darken the school's doors....
In fact months (even years!) before notification there is always a lot of work done ensuring that all of the fine details of expectations for an outstanding school are met (with 'knobs on'!) just in case an inspection should happen.
Teaching Staff seemed very worried about being 'hauled over the coals' by the SMT if their lesson was not classed as outstanding every time there was an inspection when I was at the school. I heard tales of practiced lessons - including questions and answers to be given and bribery of students with chocolates... LOL!
In general I found the inspectors were very impressed with our 'normal fare'... there was no need to 'dress it up' much, besides which that rather ruined the point of the exercise.... as a teacher at the school I was always impressed with the evident 'love of learning' shown by the average WGHS girl... and found they didn't need 'priming' to perform brilliantly when my lesson was being observed. What mattered was that they were engaged in the lesson and thinking about new concepts, not being 'right' all of the time.
Here are the OFSTED reports that are in the public domain - you might like to read through the one that was written when you were at school - now you are 'adult' you may see it in a different light....
They are in pdf format....