Get Involved: Chairing an OBC

So you want to 'Chair' an OBC?  Here is some information to help you with the organisation and structures of your Meetings

It’s very important that we maintain a relationship with Ofsted which enables us to have regular open conversations with them. This is crucial if we are to work well together, have a positive channel of communication and regular opportunities to discuss changes, improvements and ways of maintaining an effective regulation partnership.

The OBC is a grassroots organisation and as such can be developed differently according to the group, the geography and other local factors. However, there are some shared principles that are central to its success.

  • The tone of the meetings with Ofsted remain constructive and polite
  • Each location has a Chair who attends the annual chairs meeting where we agree the agenda for the year.
  • Minutes are posted on the OBC website to share with colleagues.
  • The OBC is an open group and participants from across the sector are invited to participate

Timing / Organisation
OBCs are organised once a term or twice a year. They can be organised on whatever day suits best. The North West OBC is usually on a Saturday to draw big crowds. The London is run on a weekday as most people won’t come to central London on the weekend.

The Chair will invite the local regional Ofsted lead who often attends with other Ofsted colleagues.

Content / Agenda
To get the best from the organisation, many OBCs have an element of training at the meeting. The training is often arranged to address a new element of the inspection such as cultural capital or an area which is the focus of the Ofsted reports such as supporting children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds or pedagogical improvement such as boys and Maths. The subjects are chosen by the area, there is no prescription, although some key areas are agreed at the annual Chairs meeting.

The meetings will have a central agenda agreed at the Chairs meeting. This is to ensure we all cover the key changes or concerns from across the country.

The rest of the agenda covers an update from Ofsted and questions about changes or inspections from the floor.

Costs / Charges
Many areas charge the money for tea or the cost of the hotel. This is usually sorted through Eventbrite as part of the invitation. This does not preclude a group having a specific bank account. it’s entirely as the group decides.

Most groups have a Chair and a vice Chair. Some rotate, the chair while others have a steering group to help plan the year. There is no right or wrong!

The audience can include who you think will benefit.

  • Local authority staff
  • Nursery staff
  • Childminders
  • Advisors
  • Policy Makers
  • Academics
  • Anyone who needs to understand and influence the regulator.

PR / Marketing of your Meeting
There are many ways to share the OBC and advertise the meeting. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are my preferred use as well as the address list I have built up from previous meetings.

You can also either post them yourself on the following or provide the details to who will create the Events or Posts for you

Also if you email the details to then details will be included on their Events Diary, dedicated webpage and also sent out in their regular newsletters.

The hashtags I use are:

  • #OBC
  • #OfstedBigConversation
  • #EYMatters

I also copy in @EY_Matters on Twitter as this is the account for Juls Davies, who created the OBC Website and looks after the OBC Social Media; she also invites all OBC Chairs to upload their minutes, articles, blogs and feedback that will be helpful for others

June O'Sullivan - November 2019

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