Ofsted: latest updates

Stay up to date with all things Ofsted.

Last reviewed on 8 May 2024See updates
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Contents
  1. 8 May 2024: ungraded inspections will not receive 'deep dives' from September 2024
  2. 26 April 2024: schools with RAAC in some of their buildings can defer inspections this term
  3. 24 April 2024: Ofsted outlines its approach to artificial intelligence (AI)
  4. 7 February 2024: having RAAC in your buildings is sufficient grounds to defer an inspection
  5. 19 January 2024: Ofsted inspection handbook updated for 2024
  6. 5 January 2024: Ofsted inspections to begin from 22 January
  7. 2 January 2024: Ofsted delays start of spring term inspections
  8. 8 December 2023: Ofsted delaying inspections on 11-15 December by 1 day
  9. 13 September 2023: Ofsted won't inspect schools affected by RAAC
  10. 31 August 2023: potential impact of RAAC on inspections
  11. 18 July 2023: Ofsted School Inspection Handbook updated for 2023
  12. 13 June 2023: Ofsted is making changes to inspections
  13. Older updates: what you may have missed from 2022

Don't miss out

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

For previous updates, see the bottom of this article. 

8 May 2024: ungraded inspections will not receive 'deep dives' from September 2024

From September, inspectors will conduct 'extended learning walks' instead of subject 'deep dives' during inspections for schools with a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating. Nearly 3,000 inspections planned for next year will be affected by this change.

See this press release for more details.

26 April 2024: schools with RAAC in some of their buildings can defer inspections this term

Ofsted has announced that schools with confirmed RAAC are eligible for inspections in the summer term (they weren't in autumn or spring). 

However, schools with confirmed RAAC can defer the inspection, if they want to. Having RAAC in some of your buildings is grounds for deferral.

Ofsted reaffirmed that schools that don't have RAAC in their buildings, but are still affected in some way (e.g. taking on pupils from other schools with confirmed RAAC), will receive special consideration if they request a deferral.

See Ofsted's news story for details.

24 April 2024: Ofsted outlines its approach to artificial intelligence (AI)

Ofsted has released a new policy paper. It highlights that inspectors will consider how schools' use of AI contributes to the criteria set out in the inspection framework, such as the quality of education and safeguarding. Ofsted won't be directly inspecting the quality of AI tools.

The policy paper also details what Ofsted expects from schools in relation to their use of AI. This includes:

  • Making sure AI solutions are safe and secure, and protecting users' data
  • Transparency about schools' use of AI and understanding the suggestions AI makes
  • Using AI only when it's ethically appropriate to, and monitoring bias
  • Giving staff clear roles for monitoring, evaluating, and maintaining AI tools
  • Making sure that staff are empowered to correct and overrule suggestions made by AI
  • Responding appropriately to complaints about errors made by AI

Ofsted itself will also be using AI – for example, to help decide whether a school that was judged 'good' at its last inspection should receive a graded or ungraded inspection.

7 February 2024: having RAAC in your buildings is sufficient grounds to defer an inspection

These schools are eligible for inspection this term – but having RAAC in some of your buildings will be sufficient grounds to defer an inspection, should you wish to.

Ofsted will also consider requests for deferral made by schools that don't have confirmed RAAC in their buildings, but are still affected in some way (e.g. if you're temporarily hosting pupils from a school with RAAC).

In cases where Ofsted has concerns about a school, it may send inspectors regardless of the school's situation with RAAC. 

See Ofsted's statement for schools affected by RAAC

19 January 2024: Ofsted inspection handbook updated for 2024

This comes in response to the coroner's report following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. There are no new requirements for schools. 

The key changes include:

  • Updates on how to raise a concern during inspection
  • Clarifications on making a deferral
  • Updated guidance on bringing colleagues to meetings with inspectors
  • New guidance on pausing an inspection once it has begun

For more details, see our summary of the updated handbook.

5 January 2024: Ofsted inspections to begin from 22 January

This comes after a delay to inspections at the start of the year, to allow inspectors to receive initial training on mental health awareness (see update below).

On 19 January, Ofsted will respond to the coroner's inquest into the death of Ruth Perry last year.

For more details, see this press release from Ofsted.

2 January 2024: Ofsted delays start of spring term inspections

Routine inspections will start later in January as the new chief inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver, responds to the coroner's inquest into the death of Ruth Perry last year.

The later start will allow Ofsted time to give all inspectors initial training on mental health awareness. For more details, read the press release from Ofsted.

8 December 2023: Ofsted delaying inspections on 11-15 December by 1 day

All inspections for the week starting Monday 11 December will be delayed by 1 day, following the coroner's inquest into the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. This is to allow Ofsted to bring all lead inspectors together before further inspections. 

Starting from next week, Ofsted will also give all schools a number to call if they have concerns about their inspection.

We're expecting an update to the School Inspection Handbook to include information or more clarity on:

  • How leaders can be accompanied by a colleague during meetings with inspectors
  • Who leaders can share inspection outcomes with, before they're shared with parents

For more details, read the statement from Amanda Spielman following the coroner's verdict.

We'll update our step-by-step guide to a graded Ofsted inspection once Ofsted updates the School Inspection Handbook.

13 September 2023: Ofsted won't inspect schools affected by RAAC

Schools on the list of education settings affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) will not be inspected this term. 

Ofsted has updated its deferrals guidance for schools not on the list, but still affected (e.g. those schools taking on pupils from schools on the list above). 

The announcement also makes clear that where Ofsted has concerns about a school, it may send inspectors regardless of the school's situation with RAAC.

31 August 2023: potential impact of RAAC on inspections

If your school is experiencing disruption due to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and you are notified of an inspection, you should contact the lead inspector at Ofsted and discuss your deferral options under the heading of ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The DfE is working closely with Ofsted to share information about this issue and it will be taken into account when scheduling inspections.

This is outlined in the DfE's latest guidance on RAAC (page 13).

18 July 2023: Ofsted School Inspection Handbook updated for 2023

There are a number of changes and clarifications, including the reforms we were already expecting from 13 June 2023 (see below). The updated handbook comes into force from 1 September 2023.

Get up to speed with what's new this year.

13 June 2023: Ofsted is making changes to inspections

Ofsted has not announced a major overhaul, but it has outlined the following reforms:

Respond to Ofsted's consultation on its complaints process

Ofsted will tweak how it handles safeguarding issues

More clarity on when you're likely to be inspected 

Reports will be less focused on individuals

Headteachers can share provisional outcomes with colleagues

'Outstanding' schools: get access to seminars from Ofsted

The DfE's expanding the school leader wellbeing service

 

When do these changes come into force?

Ofsted has explained that the above changes will be implemented either: 

  • Immediately (or are already being implemented), or
  • From September 2023

Ofsted is not changing the 1-word rating system

Ofsted’s blog says the department believes this is still the clearest way to give parents the confidence to choose the right school for their child.

Older updates: what you may have missed from 2022

2022 updates

   

Article Updates

8 May 2024

We updated this article to include the chief inspector's announcement that subject deep dives will be scrapped for ungraded inspections from September 2024.

30 April 2024

We updated this article to reflect Ofsted's announcement about RAAC-affected schools during the summer term.

24 April 2024

We've updated this article to reflect Ofsted's policy paper on artificial intelligence (AI).

7 February 2024

We updated this article to reflect Ofsted's statement on schools affected by RAAC in the spring term. 

22 January 2024

We've updated this article to reflect Ofsted's changes to the School Inspection Handbook on 19 January 2024.

8 January 2024

We've updated this article to include Ofsted's announcement that inspections will begin on 22 January.

2 January 2024

We've updated this article to include Sir Martyn Oliver's announcement that inspections will start later in January.

13 September 2023
18 July 2023

We updated this article to reflect Ofsted's updated School Inspection Handbook for September 2023.

13 June 2023

We updated this article to outline the changes Ofsted is making to inspections. 

13 June 2022

Added an update about the announcement of the joint consultation from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

11 July 2022

Added an update about the end of transitional arrangements, and other changes to inspection handbooks

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