Taking Control 2

How to prepare for Ofsted under the Education Inspection Framework

By: Paul Garvey


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234 x 156mm
Pages : 200
ISBN : 9781785834875
Format: Paperback
Published: May 2020

Written by Paul Garvey, Taking Control 2: How to prepare for Ofsted under the education inspection framework equips teachers, subject leaders and school leaders with the tools and know-how to enable them to prepare for their next inspection with confidence.Distilled from Paul’s 11 years’ experience as an Ofsted inspector, this practical handbook builds on its predecessor Taking Control to help your school ready itself for inspection under the 2019 education inspection framework (EIF).

It features many first-hand experiences of inspection under the updated EIF and highlights the methodology of inspection – including ‘deep dives’ and the 90-minute phone call – combined with top tips to ensure you get the best out of the assessments.

Paul also provides a range of effective dialogic tools to help you compile a persuasive self-evaluation form (SEF) in order to convince the inspection team of the true quality of your school’s provision and ensure that you’re awarded the deserved grade.

The book will alleviate some of the worries surrounding inspection, helping schools to avoid piling unnecessary work onto staff, and encourages leaders to feel much more confident about the process. It also looks at inspection from an inspector’s point of view – sharing their methodology pre, during and post inspection – and includes a wealth of experiences from both primary and secondary schools of actual inspections under the 2019 framework.

Furthermore, Paul furnishes his guidance with highlighted references to paragraphs and pages in the section 5 and section 8 handbooks, making it easier for you investigate the detail further, should you need to do so.

Suitable for head teachers, senior leadership team members, subject leaders, classroom teachers, governors and all stakeholders in mainstream schools in England.


Picture for author Paul Garvey

Paul Garvey

Paul Garvey was a teacher for 22 years and is a former lead inspector for Ofsted. He has also supported many schools in preparing for inspection. Paul is a member of both Barnsole Academy Trust and PEAK Multi Academy Trust, and is the author of Taking Control and Talk for Teaching.

Click here to read Paul Garvey’s blog.


  1. Drawing on his extensive experience as an Ofsted lead inspector, Paul Garvey has produced a really insightful handbook filled with clear guidance and a range of practical tips to help leaders and staff at all levels in schools to play - and succeed in - the inspection game.

    As a former inspector myself, I found that the sections on the pre-inspection plan and how to write a SEF addressed two key areas which some school leaders find difficult. Readers will gain clarity of thought and confidence from the numerous and extremely helpful highlighted page references to the inspection framework.

    Paul Garvey pulls no punches with this book. He emphasises that the most important area of focus within the inspection is the quality of education, with particular regard to curriculum alongside intent and implementation. He also delves into the areas concerning attitudes and behaviour - highlighting Ofsted's agenda on exclusions, particularly regarding procedures and outcomes.

    Taking Control 2 is essential reading for all school leaders as they strive to prepare effectively for inspection.
  2. I adore the honesty of this straight-talking book: it allows you to see the sunshine through the trees when it comes to school inspections.

    Paul takes you every step of the way in Taking Control 2, from the pre-inspection phone call to getting your self-evaluation form in order. The appendices on self-evaluations are very useful, and the real-life examples from real schools really adds meat onto the bones of the book. Furthermore, the highlighted page references to the framework are simply perfect and make cross-referencing an effortless task for the reader.

    A treasure chest of support and guidance.
  3. Once again, Paul Garvey has provided clear guidance on how to prepare for an Ofsted inspection. In addition, he provides thought-provoking discussion and challenge regarding school improvement and the role Ofsted plays within this. Taking Control 2 is a great read and an invaluable toolkit.
  4. -˜Forewarned is forearmed,' writes Paul Garvey in the introduction to Taking Control 2, and that's the key message of the book. Speaking with authority and insight, he walks school leaders through the Ofsted inspection journey, giving clear guidance and useful tips along the way. As he makes clear, this isn't a guide on how to pull the wool over inspectors' eyes and neither is it a substitute for effective school improvement - it's a step-by-step, eminently readable manual that shows how to understand the process and make sure the strengths of your school are highlighted and celebrated. The nuances of the 2019 education inspection framework are clearly presented and the book has the ring of authenticity throughout.

    Garvey has a well-deserved reputation as someone who fights the corner of schools and school leaders, and this book is written from that perspective. I highly recommend it.
  5. Authentic, considered and practical, Taking Control 2 provides a welcome pathway to help educators navigate both the nuisance and the challenge created by the 2019 education inspection framework. The knowledge and experience that Paul shares, combined with his evidence-based interrogation of the framework, equips school leaders with a blueprint for success. Moreover, the book is littered with realistic and ethical humanity - something our profession needs now more than ever.
  6. Taking Control 2 is both highly informative and very instructive, and is especially helpful considering we have an imminent inspection at one of our schools. I have been previously involved in two inspections under the previous framework, and this book clearly points out the emphasis change in the new education inspection framework.

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