Inspection criteria

Highlights from school evaluation and improvement

  • Attendance: what Ofsted is looking for
    Ofsted will consider your attendance data when making specific judgements. Understand what evidence inspectors will want to look at, and what they want to see in 'outstanding' and 'good' schools.
  • 'Cultural capital': expanding narrow definitions
    Prepare your pupils for life in modern Britain by providing 'cultural capital' that celebrates all cultures, and reflects your community and the country's diversity.
  • 'Cultural capital': what Ofsted is looking for
    Ofsted will consider ‘cultural capital’ when assessing your quality of education, but what does this actually mean? Read on to find out how inspectors will evaluate it in your school.
  • Health and safety: how to show Ofsted you're fulfilling your duties
    Ofsted doesn't have set criteria for evaluating health and safety, but inspectors will report on any failure to comply with statutory requirements. Be clear on your obligations, and good practice, so you feel ready if Ofsted asks.
  • How Ofsted inspects 'behaviour and attitudes'
    Learn how Ofsted inspects 'behaviour and attitudes' in a graded inspection under the Ofsted inspection framework. This judgement covers behaviour, attendance, exclusion and attitudes to learning.
  • How Ofsted inspects early years education
    Learn how Ofsted inspects your EYFS provision. This judgement covers nursery, reception, provision for 2 and 3 year-olds, and wraparound care.
  • How Ofsted inspects governance
    Get to grips with how governance is inspected under the Ofsted framework, and the role of governors on inspection day.
  • How Ofsted inspects 'leadership and management'
    Understand which parts of school leadership and management will be judged under the Ofsted inspection framework. See what evidence you can provide and read a summary of the grade descriptors.
  • How Ofsted inspects 'personal development'
    Learn how 'personal development' is inspected under the Ofsted framework, including how SMSC development is considered. Download our list of questions inspectors might ask, including ones about British values.
  • How Ofsted inspects safeguarding
    Understand what Ofsted expects to see in your safeguarding arrangements, and what evidence inspectors will collect during an inspection. Download our list of questions Ofsted might ask about child protection, including how you handle sexual harassment and abuse in your school.
  • How Ofsted inspects sixth forms
    Understand how Ofsted will inspect sixth form provision under the 2023 framework.
  • How Ofsted inspects your curriculum
    Ofsted's 'quality of education' measure puts your curriculum in the spotlight. Understand how inspectors will judge your intent, implementation and impact, and the evidence they'll consider.
  • How Ofsted inspects your provision for 'disadvantaged' pupils
    Learn how Ofsted defines 'disadvantaged' pupils and considers how well your provision supports these pupils.
  • How Ofsted will assess RSE
    Relationships and sex education (RSE) won't be inspected on its own – instead, Ofsted will look at how you're meeting statutory requirements for RSE, and consider this within your 'personal development' and 'leadership and management' judgements.
  • Ofsted changes for the 2023/24 academic year: summary
    Be clear on the changes Ofsted has made to its inspection handbook for September 2023, so you can keep on top of what's new.
  • Ofsted 'summary evaluations' of trusts: explainer
    Summary evaluations are Ofsted's approach to gathering findings about a trust. Find out what happens at each stage of the process, what Ofsted will expect of you and your leadership team and what it's likely to consider.
    For Trust Leaders
  • Questions Ofsted might ask you based on your subject
    Get a handle on what Ofsted could ask you and your colleagues about a subject during a 'deep dive', all in one place. See what inspectors could ask about art, computing, English, geography, history, maths, modern foreign languages, PE, PSHE, and science.
  • School policies: what Ofsted is looking for
    Ofsted inspectors won't grade your policies, but they'll want to know how you're implementing them. Find out what inspectors would want to see from your school.