The Inspection Liaison Officer is the person with whom a school being inspected will speak for guidance, for example, on how to administer staff questionnaires. They are not a member of the Inspection Team as such, but will work closely with the Lead Inspector, passing on messages and answering queries about the inspection process.
This role, also known as an Inspection Officer (by Tribal Inspections) or an Inspection Coordinator (by Serco Inspections) is a contact point for the inspection team, the school being inspected and Ofsted. It offers administrative support, and is run by the Inspection Service Provider (ISP) rather than Ofsted itself. (The ISPs are CfBT in the north, Serco in the midlands and Tribal in the south).
This extract from a sample CfBT notification letter sent to a school about to be inspected says:
“Speaking to an inspector – It may be possible to speak to an inspector during the inspection, for instance at the start of the school day. Inspection Liaison Officers will be happy to pass on messages to the inspectors if you are unable to speak to them in person, although inspectors may not be able to contact you directly themselves. You can contact the Inspection Liaison Officer for this inspection, (name), on 01xxxx xxxx . Inspectors will be pleased to receive your comments, but cannot deal with complaints concerning individual pupils or settle disputes between you and the school.”
“Throughout the timeline of the inspection, the administration and the inspectors involved are supported by a dedicated inspection officer, who acts as a conduit between the inspection team, the school being inspected and Ofsted.”
ILOs are also mentioned in the Ofsted guidance on the inspection of faith schools:
“Scheduling the inspection
7. Ofsted will make available to signatory organisations to this protocol the names of all relevant faith schools to be inspected in each ISP’s geographic area, and the dates of those inspections, in the term prior to the term of inspection. Each ISP will nominate an inspection liaison officer as the contact point for faith groups, and shall also nominate a senior manager to act as a liaison point on wider section 5 and section 48 matters.”
Making complaints to Ofsted
The ILO may not be the right person to contact if you have a concern about the inspection.
General advice from Ofsted about making complaints can be accessed here.
To make a complaint about Ofsted itself, or raise a concern about an aspect of the inspection, click here.
Guidance for parents on how to make a complaint about a school is here. (Add this link to your school website?)