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.

Last reviewed on 7 September 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 12493
  1. Inspection delays due to COVID-19 backlog
  2. Subsequent inspection timings
  3. Before a monitoring inspection
  4. During the monitoring inspection
  5. At the end of the monitoring inspection

Inspection delays due to COVID-19 backlog

Due to the backlog caused by the pandemic: 

  • You can expect a graded inspection (previously known as a section 5 inspection) about 5 to 6 terms later than you would have done before the pandemic (so, around 4 years after your last inspection)
  • If your school is showing some improvement, but your performance in key aspects is not yet 'good', you may be judged 'requires improvement' again. In this case, Ofsted will normally monitor your school and your next graded inspection will likely be within 30 months (2 and a half years) of the publication of the previous report. If your inspection following monitoring is the first one since the pandemic, the period between inspections will be extended by up to 6 terms

This is covered in paragraphs 41 and 158 to 161 of the inspection handbook.

Subsequent inspection timings

If you're judged 'requires