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.

Last reviewed on 26 January 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 12955
Contents
  1. How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected
  2. How ‘good’ schools and other 'outstanding' schools are inspected
  3. Before inspection
  4. During inspection
  5. Inspection results

How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected

Following the removal of the 'outstanding' exemption, all formerly exempt schools will now be inspected before September 2025.

Whether this inspection is graded or ungraded depends on when your last graded inspection (formerly known as a section 5) took place:

  • If you last received a graded inspection before September 2015, you'll have a graded inspection
  • If you last received a graded inspection after September 2015, you'll have an ungraded inspection (formerly known as a section 8)

If an initial ungraded inspection indicates that you may no longer be 'outstanding', Ofsted will normally carry out a graded inspection within the next 12 months or as soon as possible thereafter. The inspection will be before 1 August 2026.

Following this initial inspection, your school will receive future inspections as outlined below.

This is explained in paragraphs 40 and 69 of the School Inspection Handbook.

How ‘good’ schools and other 'outstanding' schools are

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.