School visits: looking at pupils' work

Understand what your role is when looking at pupils' work, including why you might want to do this and what to look for. See examples of how other governors observe pupils' work when visiting schools.

Last reviewed on 19 March 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 41035
  1. Your role 
  2. Why you might look at pupils' work
  3. Questions you can ask 
  4. See examples from governing boards 

Your role 

Although it's not a requirement, some governors choose to look at pupils' work when visiting their school. Understand why you might do this in the next section.

If you do decide to do this, remember: you're not judging/assessing the quality of progress or quality of teaching.

The maintained schools governance guide makes it clear that it's not your board's role "to assess teaching and learning or to interfere in the day-to-day running of the school" (see section 3.3.3). The academy trust governance guide doesn't mention school visits, but this is still good advice to follow.

If you think it would be helpful to spend time in a classroom, link it to a specific purpose.

When viewing pupils' work, make sure you: 

Find more tips for conducting a school visit and questions

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.