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.

Last reviewed on 16 October 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44524
  1. Deep dives
  2. Curriculum
  3. Reading
  4. Deferrals
  5. Inspection process

Myth Fact Headteachers can join deep dive meetings with subject leaders. Not usually. Inspectors expect to have these conversations with subject leaders independently. However, if the inspection day doesn't reflect a typical day in your school (e.g. because the subject leader is new to the role or school), the headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team may be invited to take part. Subject leaders in primary schools need to be specialists in their area. Inspectors understand that it's often not possible or realistic for subject leaders in primary schools to be a specialist in their area. What's important is that you and your staff, as a collective, give careful thought to the content you want pupils to be taught and remember.  We will need to change our timetable to allow Ofsted to carry out its lesson observations for the chosen deep dives. Ofsted will try to observe 4 to 6 lessons for each deep dive subject. If