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Last reviewed on 6 October 2020
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Stay up to date with all things Ofsted, including its plans for visits in the autumn term.

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We update this article whenever we hear something new. Click 'save for later' at the top of this article and we'll let you know when it's been updated.

Oct 20: Ofsted to remove the 'outstanding' exemption

Ofsted announced it'll restart inspections on 'outstanding' schools, following a consultation earlier this year on removing the 'outstanding' exemption. 

This will come into force after legislation is passed, and means that:

  • Inspections on 'outstanding' schools will begin when regular inspections restart - at the moment this is planned from January 2021
  • All formerly exempt schools will get an initial section 5 or section 8 inspection within 6 years (Ofsted will prioritise schools that have gone the longest since their last inspection, starting with those that haven't been inspected for a decade or longer)
    • Schools that were last inspected before September 2015 will get an initial section 5 inspection
    • Schools that were last inspected after September 2015 will likely get a section 8 inspection

See further details of the consultation outcome here.

Jul 20: Ofsted will carry out 'visits, not inspections'

Ofsted announced its plans to carry out 'non-judgmental' visits in the autumn term to understand how you're welcoming children back into school. 

It will visit all 'inadequate' schools and a sample of schools across the other Ofsted grades. 

Routine inspections are still suspended until January 2021 (at the earliest). 

Get further details on its plans in this article.

Mar 20: Ofsted has stopped all routine inspections 

As of 17 March 2020, Ofsted has stopped all routine inspections for schools, further education and early years providers. 

It will still go ahead with urgent inspections where specific concerns have been raised. 

Feb 20: Curriculum transition period extended

Ofsted has extended the transition period for curriculum inspection arrangements for another year.

The new arrangements will apply until July 2021.

Read more about how the transition period works here.

New Ofsted report on financial pressures in schools may lead to further inspection changes

Ofsted has published a report into how schools respond when they're under financial pressure, and the impact their decisions make on the quality of education they provide.

On the back of this research, Ofsted says it will carry out further research into:

  • Whether it's helpful for inspectors to look at financial indicators when they inspect schools
  • What kinds of conversations with leaders, governors and trustees may help inform judgements on leadership and management and quality of education

Read the full report here.

Jan 20: Ofsted launches consultation on removing the 'outstanding' exemption

Ofsted is proposing that 'outstanding' schools will receive a section 8 inspection every 4 or 5 years. 

The consultation has now closed and Ofsted is reviewing the responses.

Ofsted publishes report on 'stuck' schools

The report looks at the challenges faced by these schools compared to 'unstuck' schools, and how the wider education system can help them to improve. 

'Stuck' schools are those that have had 4 or more full inspections where they were rated less than 'good'.

'Unstuck' schools are schools that were previously rated less than 'good' for 4 or more inspections, but have subsequently improved.

Read the full report here.

Sep 19: Ofsted may rate schools on financial management

Schools Week reports that the DfE has announced that it is currently working with Ofsted to determine whether inspections might include judgements on financial management and oversight. The discussions on this are in the early stages, and no changes to inspection are planned immediately. 

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