The inspection system

Highlights from school evaluation and improvement

  • Frequency of Ofsted inspections
    Find out how often Ofsted inspects schools and get an idea of when your next inspection will be.
  • How Ofsted inspects alternative provision
    Learn how Ofsted inspects pupil referral units (PRUs) and alternative provision (AP) academies. Also find information covering inspection of off-site units and residential provision.
  • Inspection judgements: Ofsted grade descriptors
    Use our side-by-side comparison of Ofsted grade descriptors, which reflect updates to the School Inspection Handbook from September 2023 and January 2024, to understand the criteria inspectors use to make their judgements.
  • Ofsted inspection framework: what it means for your school
    Get to grips with the current inspection framework and the 4 judgement areas that inspectors will look at. Understand the difference between 'intent', 'implementation' and 'impact', and use our prompts to make sure you're on top of these key curriculum concepts.
  • Ofsted inspection of schools rated ‘requires improvement’
    If your school is rated 'requires improvement', you may receive a monitoring inspection before your next graded inspection. Understand what happens during a monitoring inspection and when Ofsted is likely to inspect you next.
  • Ofsted mythbuster
    Can headteachers join deep dives? Do schools need a certain level of staff absence to be granted a deferral? Read our mythbuster to get clarity on a range of questions about how Ofsted inspects your school.
  • School inspection handbook updated for January 2024
    There aren't any new requirements for schools, but get up to speed on the changes and options available to you during an inspection.
  • Ungraded inspections for 'good' and 'outstanding' schools
    Get a handle on what happens before, during and after an ungraded inspection (previously known as a section 8 inspection), and what Ofsted will be looking for, so you and your staff feel ready.