How Ofsted gathers evidence about pupil experience

Ofsted inspectors don't expect to see written pupil case studies. Understand how Ofsted will learn about and evaluate pupil experiences of your school, including which pupil groups and topics they're likely to focus on.

Last reviewed on 27 July 2023
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3255
  1. Don't prepare written case studies 
  2. Inspectors will collect first-hand evidence
  3. Individuals and groups that inspectors are likely to evaluate 
  4. You must provide opportunities for inspectors to speak to pupils
  5. Preventing inspectors from speaking to pupils about RSE

Don't prepare written case studies 

Ofsted doesn't collect written pupil case studies as evidence. Instead, inspectors will gather first-hand evidence during an inspection by talking to and observing pupils. Ofsted told us this.

Familiarise yourself with what these observations will involve and which groups of pupils inspectors are likely to focus on, so you can prepare your staff. 

Inspectors will collect first-hand evidence

As part of their evaluation, inspectors will:

  • Have formal and informal conversations with a wide range of pupils and in a range of situations, including outside of lessons
  • Ask pupils about their experiences of teaching, learning and behaviour in the school
  • Consider evidence from pupils alongside other evidence they collect

This is set out in paragraphs 248 to 250 of the School Inspection Handbook (2023).

Understand what pupils have learnt and how their teachers help them to learn new curriculum content (248)  Talk to and observe pupils (249):  At the start and finish of the school day  During lunchtime,