View the Ofsted full inspection handbook here

This handbook describes the main activities carried out during inspections of maintained schools and academies in England. It is primarily a guide for inspectors on how to carry out school inspections. However, it is made available to schools and other organisations to ensure that they are informed about the processes and procedures of inspection.

Recent changes to Ofsted inspection handbooks

Ofsted has piloted changes to inspection methods to take account of the challenges raised by COVID-19. The resulting changes are outlined within Ofsted inspection handbooks and include:

  • A new section explains the safety measures that will be in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Inspectors will work to understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on the school.
  • Inspections will take into account the changes in assessment data and will use a range of externally published data.
  • Ofsted recognise that schools will be making changes to their curriculum in response to the pandemic but expect to see how schools have have adapted and prioritised their curriculum.
  • Ofsted are keen to see how schools have achieved the best possible attendance.
  • Inspectors will expect to see that new legislation has been implemented, specifically the new Relationships Education curriculum.

Further reading


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