Last reviewed on 7 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 12955

Be ready for your next section 8 inspection – here's what happens before, during and after, and what Ofsted will be looking for.

Extended timings for the first inspection following COVID-19

Due to a backlog of inspections caused by coronavirus, Ofsted has extended its inspection intervals for the first inspection after the pandemic.

Normally, you'd receive an inspection under section 8 approximately every 4 years - but this period will be extended by up to 6 terms for the first inspection after the pandemic.

For subsequent inspections, if your school continues to be 'good' or 'outstanding', you'll receive a section 8 inspection approximately 4 years later.

Read more about Ofsted changes for this academic year.

How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected

Following the removal of the 'outstanding' exemption, Ofsted began inspecting 'outstanding' schools when routine inspections restarted in autumn 2021.

Your school will now receive a section 8 inspection before 1 August 2026 if:

Your school will receive an initial section 5 inspection