Lesson observations: how many times can I be observed?


You may be unsure of how often members of SLT at your school can carry out lesson observations while you are teaching. Observations could have an impact on your workload, well-being and you might be worried about raising a concern with your school. 

In this article, we explain there is no longer a limit on how many times you can be observed, the expectations from Ofsted and what to do if you have have received a ‘requires improvement’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ lesson judgement.

No longer a limit on the amount of lesson observations

The Education (School Teacher’s Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 does not stipulate a limit on the total period of classroom observation allowed per appraisal cycle. Previously, the limit was three hours. 

There are also no rules on how long observations can last for or how much notice should be given before an observation.

Essentially there are no rules on:

  • How long observations can last for
  • The number of lesson observations which can be carried out over the year
  • Who can carry out observations
  • Whether learning walks can count as lesson observations

What are the expectations from Ofsted?

Ofsted does not expect schools to grade individual lessons using its criteria. It also doesn’t expect schools to undertake a specified amount of observations.

What should I do if I have a concern with a lesson observation?

You will want to read your school’s appraisal and capability policies if you have had a series of lesson observations where they have been judged as ‘requires improvement’ or  ‘unsatisfactory’. You will want to raise an initial concerns with your line manager.

We have produced another article looking at the appraisal process in schools.

In addition, we have published another article on capability procedures.

If you have any concerns about lesson observations you can always contact us for advice and support.

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