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Ultimate Guide to Essential School Policies for Ofsted Compliance 2024

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting and regulating services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills.

We always create a checklist for the schools that we work with. Sometimes schools have an urgent need to know what policies they need to have on the their school website. So we thought it would be help to have a quick go to list.

We have also tried to group them into categories to coincide with 2024 Ofsted guidance.

Here is a list of essential/desired documents that primary schools in England typically need to have prepared for an Ofsted inspection:

Safeguarding Policies

  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy: Ensures that the school has clear procedures in place to protect children from abuse and neglect. It outlines how to recognize and respond to safeguarding concerns.

  • Anti-Bullying Policy: Specifies the school’s approach to preventing and responding to bullying. It details the procedures for reporting bullying and the actions the school will take to address it.

  • Online Safety Policy (E-Safety Policy): Protects students from online risks, promoting safe and responsible use of the internet and digital technologies within the school

  • Health and Safety Policy: Establishes the standards for ensuring a safe physical environment for both students and staff. It covers risk assessments, emergency procedures, and everyday safety in the school.

  • Acceptable Use Policy: Defines the rules for using school IT equipment and accessing the internet, ensuring students and staff use digital resources responsibly.

Educational and Operational Policies

  • Admissions Policy: Outlines the criteria and process for admitting students to the school, ensuring fairness and transparency in how applications are handled.

  • Attendance Policy: Details the expectations and procedures for student attendance, aiming to maximize attendance rates and punctuality.

  • Behaviour Management Policy: Provides guidelines for acceptable student behavior and the disciplinary measures that may be taken to address misconduct.

  • Curriculum Policy: Describes the educational content and strategies employed by the school to ensure comprehensive and effective teaching and learning.

  • Assessment Policy: Explains how students’ learning and progress are evaluated, including the methods and frequency of assessments.

  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Policy: Details the support provided for students with special educational needs and disabilities, ensuring access to education on an equal basis with others.

  • Equality and Inclusion Policy: Promotes an inclusive environment by preventing discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all students and staff.

  • British Values Policy: Aims to reinforce democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Policy: For schools with early years provision, detailing how they implement the EYFS statutory framework

Health and Welfare Policies

  • Medication Policy: Outlines the procedures for administering medication to students, including storage, documentation, and handling emergencies.

  • First Aid Policy: Details the provision of first aid in the school, including the availability of trained staff and first aid kits.

Resource and Financial Management

  • Pupil Premium Policy: Describes how the school uses Pupil Premium funding to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students.

  • Sports Premium Policy: Outlines how the school uses Sports Premium funding to enhance the quality of PE and sport activities offered.

  • Charging and Remissions Policy: Details the school’s approach to charging for school activities and circumstances under which charges might be waived.

  • School Fund Management Policy: If applicable, explains how additional school funds are managed and audited.

Data and Compliance

  • Data Protection Policy: Ensures that personal data is handled in compliance with data protection laws, detailing procedures for collecting, storing, and sharing data.

  • Freedom of Information Policy: Sets out the framework for public access to school information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Staff and Employment

  • Staff Recruitment Policy: Describes the procedures for recruiting new staff, ensuring that all processes are fair and that safeguarding checks are completed.

  • Whistleblowing Policy: Provides a mechanism for staff to report illegal, unethical, or improper conduct.

  • Professional Development Policy: Outlines opportunities for staff training and professional growth, supporting continuous improvement.

Community Engagement

  • Complaints Policy: Establishes a clear procedure for handling complaints from parents, students, or staff, ensuring issues are resolved effectively.

  • Parental Engagement Policy: Encourages active involvement of parents in the education of their children and the community of the school.

  • Home-School Agreement: A statement explaining the school’s responsibilities towards its students, the expectations of the pupils, and the role of parents.

Specific Operational Areas

  • School Uniform Policy: Specifies the requirements for school uniforms, promoting a sense of equality and pride in the school community.

  • Homework Policy: Sets out the expectations for homework, including its role in students’ learning.

  • Exclusion Policy: Details the circumstances under which a student may be temporarily or permanently excluded from school.