Skip to content
Ofsted inspection

Ofsted inspection: deferring & pausing

Find out how decisions to defer or pause an Ofsted inspection are made and what role governing boards have.


Ofsted's policy for considering whether to defer or pause an inspection sets out the processes that inspectors should follow. In most instances, this involves a decision about whether an inspection should go ahead on the planned dates and/or within the planned timescales.

The policy includes new guidance on pausing an Ofsted inspection where, for example, the headteacher requires additional support due to concerns about their wellbeing.

NGA has worked with Ofsted to produce guidance for governing boards that explains how and when such decisions are made. The guidance covers:

  • chairs supporting headteachers during inspection
  • circumstances where Ofsted could potentially grant a deferral
  • how requests to defer an inspection are made
  • circumstances that may lead to pausing an inspection
  • the process for pausing an inspection

Member-only content

Want to read this?

Become a member

NGA members get exclusive access to hundreds of practical resources including guidance, checklists and planners.

We’re here to support you at every stage of your governance journey with expert advice, training, events, and much more.

Already a member?

Log in

Related content