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Last updated on 21 October 2019
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School types: All · School phases: All

Download our list of questions to find out what Ofsted inspectors might ask about your curriculum – it’s based on 8 recent inspections under the new framework. Plus, see what inspectors might ask about other judgement areas.

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Questions about your curriculum

This resource is based on questions that middle leaders/subject leaders in 8 schools have been asked about their curriculum (for the 'quality of education' measure) under the new Ofsted framework.

They're high-level questions that inspectors are likely to ask any subject lead. Once you've familiarised yourself with these, use our subject-specific questions to help you prepare for the more detailed questions you might be asked if your subject is chosen for a 'deep dive'.

Inspectors will only ask you these questions if you're a subject/phase/department/year group leader (or similar). If your area of leadership relates to another area (for instance, personal development or behaviour), use the list of questions in the section below.

Other questions

This resource includes questions Ofsted might ask middle leaders about:

  • Personal development
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Leadership and management
  • Capacity to improve
  • Safeguarding

It includes pointers on what evidence you could use to identify practical examples to back up your answers.

Our associate experts David New, Alvin Jeffs and Gulshan Kayembe helped us to write this resource.

How inspectors decide what to ask 

Focus your prep time by identifying the areas inspectors are most likely to be interested in concerning your school. 

To do this:

  • Look at your last Ofsted report: Ofsted will follow up on any areas for improvement or points of weakness from last time
  • Use Ofsted's inspection data summary report: this will flag positive or negative indicators that inspectors will need to investigate
  • Get local insights: your school improvement partner, or other local school leaders, may be able to tell you about trends from recent inspections of other local schools
  • Use insights from the initial inspection phone call: your headteacher will feed back information on what was discussed and what the focus of inspection will be


David New, an education consultant, was the headteacher of a large secondary school for 9 years. He has particular expertise in lettings, staffing, academy conversion and the secondary curriculum.

Alvin Jeffs has worked in special education for more than 40 years. His experience includes class teaching, assessment work, and developing and implementing programmes of work for students. He is also a former school inspector.

Gulshan Kayembe is an independent consultant who has experience of inspecting schools. As a consultant, she provides mentoring for senior leaders and has worked as an external adviser on headteachers’ performance management.

You can download the school inspection handbook here.

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