Prepare for Ofsted using Arbor

Although the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) won't usually ask your school to do any formal preparation before an inspection, it's always a good idea to know how you can get access to your data when needed. For more information on inspections, take a look at their Education inspection framework (EIF).

For further tips on Ofsted inspections, The Key have put together a pack of resources to help you to understand what’s expected of you before, during and after an inspection. This includes a pre-inspection checklist and role-specific question lists - just head to their website here: Ofsted and other inspection

To help you best prepare for Ofsted inspections in Arbor, we’ve gathered together some of the questions they usually ask, and how Arbor MIS can support you to prepare for each of them below.


You'll need to be able to support and explain the evidence you can report on in Arbor, and include details of what you'll do to improve your figures in your attendance improvement plan.

For all of our attendance reporting options, you can view figures for your whole school. Click into the filters to narrow down your figures or compare data for different demographics, such as:

  • Individual year groups
  • Key stage
  • Pupil Premium
  • Free School Meals (FSM)
  • EAL
  • Any bespoke group of students, such as those out-of-area by setting up a Custom Group

You can take a look at some of our commonly requested reports here, or expand the sections below for more information.

Overall figures and demographic breakdowns

You can pull together attendance data over time, and compare classes, Year groups, demographic groups.

You can find data for previous years to compare by changing the date range in the filters, or you can use our custom report: Attendance this year and last year


Punctuality and absence

As well as our overall figures and reports for attendance, we also have a specialised page to dig into your U and L codes.

Use the Latecomers page to see a count of how many individual lates you've had today, or change the Group By filter to see a count of students late today. You can also filter by L or U codes to get a count of individual marks!



We also have a specialised page for reporting on your Persistent Absentee (PA) students. Head to Students > Attendance > Absentees > Persistent Absentees and set the filters to different date ranges to compare figures over time, and see a count of total students.

Check out more top tips for finding PA students and how the calculations work here: Persistent Absence


Trip participation

The contextual information about who is attending trips may be requested by Ofsted to ensure your offering is accessible for all (e.g. for pupil premium, SEN, EAL students). You can report on trips and demographics using the Custom Report Writer: Report on trips and analyse trip participation

Club attendance

The contextual information about who is attending clubs may be requested by Ofsted to ensure your clubs offering is accessible for all (e.g. for pupil premium, SEN, EAL students). You can report on club attendance and demographics using the Custom Report Writer: Report on clubs and analyse club attendance


The impact of Covid-19

As our X codes do not count towards your attendance figures, you can't report on them in our standard Attendance reporting areas, but you can use our Custom Report Writer report to view total numbers over time.



Your attendance improvement plan

Now you have identified your key attendance statistics, you can put in place your attendance improvement plan to better attendance figures next year. Demonstrate and track these plans over time in Arbor is by using interventions.

With interventions, you can automatically add students with a certain level of attendance into an intervention to monitor them next year and review them regularly.



See statistics for how many students have met the criteria. 



You can also track student and staff participation in Interventions using our Provision Mapping tables, and review where your funding is being spent and future projections.





Overall enrolment figures

View the number of students enrolled in your school today right from your homepage.



Or go to Students > Enrolment to view figures broken down by year group, registration form etc.


Students who have left or joined

You can view a full list of students who have left your school from Students > All Students > Browse Students > Leavers, including their enrolment reason. You can see full details here: See students who have left



There is a similar page for students who have joined your school at Students > All Students > Browse Students > Joiners (more details here: See students that have joined). You can also use our Admissions register report.





Arbor’s built-in behaviour dashboards help you understand behaviour across groups of students and track how the types and frequency of behaviour have changed over time.

Behaviour events

Report on your overall behaviour totals by department or based on the staff member who issued them, or student groups such as year groups and common demographics.



Break down your data into individual incidents, so you can give an example of the actions taken afterwards.



Demonstrate how you've improved your behaviour policy by walking through an example behaviour and what actions will be taken using our Incident Workflows.



View individual totals and grouped totals by demographic for Fixed-period (referred to as 'suspensions' by the DfE from Autumn 2021) and Internal exclusions for any date range, including the amount of schooling missed.



On individual student's profiles, you can view overall figures for the student and drill down into specific incidents, exclusion logs and exclusion reviews.




Attainment and progress

Arbor Assessments help you learn from your data straight away with visual analysis pages. There are a number of areas you can use to generate reports and statistics depending on your needs and which type of assessments you want to analyse. These are just some of the examples of what our pages can do.

On all of our assessment analysis pages, you can view figures for your whole school or drill down to compare data for different demographics, such as:

  • Individual year groups
  • Pupil Premium
  • Free School Meals (FSM)
  • EAL
  • Any bespoke group of students, such as those out-of-area by setting up a Custom Group

Once students complete their formal examinations, you can input their scores into the Assessments area to look at year-on-year analysis or export results to an external analysis system such as SISRA or 4Matrix.

Show how much of the curriculum students have completed

If you're in a primary school, you can use Formative assessment to mark students' understanding against individual statements or topics.

This will help you to track how your students are developing during the year. Colour-coded dashboards will then help you monitor performance, demonstrating clearly where teachers need to cover content in more depth. Now you have identified gaps in the curriculum, you can put in place your assessment improvement plan.


Demonstrate how you support your students

You'll need to demonstrate you have strategies in place to support your students who aren't ready to be assessed in the next key stage (such as students who aren't secondary ready). 

Track these students over time in Arbor using interventions. As well as already being able to add students to interventions from marksheets, you can automatically enrol students into intervention sessions based on prior attainment scores or current assessment baselines. Then review each student to see when certain criteria are met, all logged in your Interventions area.

How do you track students progress through the year?

Use marks recorded in your summative assessments, compared to students' baselines and targets for the year to calculate which student's are on track to meet expectations and which need more support.

See at-a-glance combined figures for where students are working against their targets for English and Maths on your homepage.



You can also use your School Assessment Measures to set up bespoke measures you'll want to show to Ofsted.



Drill down to see attainment for different demographics groups or classes from our built-in analysis pages. The Attainment Expectations page allows you to see the percentage of children working above, at or below their targets and the gap between student group's attainment.



Or create a progress report from the Statistics page.


Record other key student assessment data such as reading ages 

If the DfE asks how you track other measures such as Reading ages or other Ad Hoc assessments, just jump to your marksheet to demonstrate how these are used alongside summative assessments for a holistic view of student's progress and strengths.

See the impact of Covid-19 by comparing data to past years

Our Transition Matrix allows you to compare grades at two different points in time. This means you can use it to find student's progress from their starting point in the current year or past years, or compare grades in two different assessments to see if students are progressing at the same rate. Select the same assessment period for this year and last year to check whether the spread of data is roughly the same, or if student achievement has changed due to Covid-19.

You can compare grade distributions for multiple subjects to see any gaps in progress from the Grade Distribution and Attainment over Time pages. This will help you see if Covid-19 has impacted specific subjects more than others.





Live information for teaching staff

My Homepage gives your Teaching and Pastoral Staff live information about the student groups they look after, so they’ll never miss a new detention, pastoral or medical note.



In your To Do list you'll get reminders for incomplete attendance registers and other actions that need to be taken, such as Behaviour administration.


Track students' movement around the school

If a student has an intervention, trip or exam at the same time as a lesson, your teachers will always know. Teachers can manage their classes from the Lesson Dashboard, including seeing where students are instead of their lesson. 



With Ad Hoc interventions you can record any unplanned pastoral intervention sessions with students, for example, a time out. Everyone can see where the student is, as the session can be seen in Alerts, and in student and staff timetables and calendars.



You may be asked to provide information on additional things, such as how complaints are handled, or social care referrals. Currently, there is no specialised area of Arbor to monitor these, so you may ned to use a 3rd party provider.



As well as questions about staff wellbeing, you may be asked about the opportunities and support your staff receive. Here are three areas you can use in Arbor to demonstrate this.

Key staff details

Arbor has a dedicated page that allows you to check and update information about your staff members, called the Single Central Record (SCR)

Want to track and report on even more fields? You can create your own SCR in the Custom Report Writer.


Track staff performance and continued development

Using our Appraisals and Objectives features can help to address weaknesses or potential improvements.

Objectives are goals that a staff member should achieve or attain over a set period in time. You can then set up an Appraisal to reflect on the appraisee’s work, objectives and what they need to do to improve their performance. 



To track teacher's performance in lessons, you can record Observations and analyse the outcomes in order to evaluate the quality of teaching.



You can use the Training area to keep track of training staff are due to receive and track expiry dates.

This area on the Staff Profile is also useful for adding Checks staff members have had for reporting in your Workforce Census.


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