Work scrutiny: how-to and template

Follow these steps to make sure your work scrutinies have an impact and lead to improvements in your school.

Last reviewed on 22 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 1787
  1. Decide a clear focus
  2. Agree your criteria
  3. Decide on a work sample and agree the scope
  4. Timetable dates for feedback and following up on actions
  5. Use our template to record your scrutiny
  6. Follow these tips when conducting your scrutiny 
  7. Give feedback and set out actions
  8. Evaluate the impact
  9. Be prepared to take part in work scrutinies with Ofsted inspectors

We wrote this article with the help of our associate education experts David New, Jeremy Bird, John Dunne, Jonathan Gower, Nina Siddall-Ward and Sarah Gallagher, and input from members of our in-house team who have experience with work scrutinies.

Decide a clear focus

Work scrutinies can cover a variety of things. For example, your focus might be:

  • An area of concern you’ve identified
  • A priority in your school improvement plan
  • To check that pupils' work over time reflects your curriculum intent
  • To find out if your pupils are learning the necessary knowledge and skills in a sensible order and developing incrementally
  • Progress in a particular subject or year group
  • A particular aspect of teaching and learning, such as marking or differentiation
  • How a particular pupil group, such as more able pupils or those eligible for the pupil premium, are getting on in relation to other pupils

Why am I proposing this work scrutiny? What am I trying to