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Ofsted inspection

A guide to Ofsted inspection

What governing boards can expect from inspection, what inspectors look for, and steps to take following an inspection.

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UPDATE: On 24 January 2024, Ofsted published a summary of changes to inspection practice. While the updates are minimal, governing boards undergoing inspection should be aware of the following.

Ofsted has clarified:

  • Who may attend meetings with inspectors, how they can contribute and how inspectors will ensure leaders are kept informed on the progress of the inspection.
  • Who provisional inspection outcomes may be shared with, including people not involved in the school, and when draft reports will be shared with the school.
  • How inspectors should engage with leaders and respond if they see or suspect that a staff member is upset or distressed.
  • The circumstances in which an inspection may be paused and how this can be requested, as set out in Ofsted’s new pausing policy.

Ofsted inspection guidance

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting maintained schools and academies to make sure that they are providing a high standard of education. Ofsted also carry out summary evaluations of multi academy trusts.

Inspection provides independent, external evaluation and identifies what needs to improve in order for provision to be good or better. It is based on gathering a range of evidence that is evaluated against the education inspection framework.

Our guide to Ofsted inspection has been developed to help governing boards know what to expect, understand what inspectors look for, and take appropriate steps following an inspection.

The guide covers:

  • types of inspection
  • demonstrating effective governance to Ofsted
  • judgement areas
  • governing board meeting with inspectors
  • inspection feedback and judgements

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