Ofsted 'deep dives': modern foreign languages (MFL)

Find out what evidence Ofsted inspectors look for in a modern foreign languages 'deep dive', and download our list of questions so you're prepared.

Last reviewed on 14 April 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 43311
  1. Will we get a 'deep dive' in MFL?
  2. How deep dives work
  3. Questions Ofsted might ask during MFL deep dives
  4. Differences between primary and secondary MFL deep dives
  5. How to prepare

Ofsted inspectors use subject 'deep dives' to inspect your curriculum. They will use them to consider the ‘intent, implementation and impact’ of your curriculum as part of the ‘quality of education’ judgement.

See paragraphs 215 to 217 of the School Inspection Handbook for more detail.

Ofsted has emphasised that it does not make judgements on specific subjects, lessons or teachers. Its inspectors use deep dives to help them arrive at an overall 'quality of education' judgement.

Will we get a 'deep dive' in MFL?

Ofsted might do a modern foreign languages (MFL) deep dive.

 In primary schools Ofsted will:

  • Always do a deep dive in:
    • Reading
    • 1 or more foundation subjects, which could include MFL
  • Often do a deep dive in maths

In secondary schools, Ofsted will usually focus on a sample of 4 to 6 subjects. MFL could be 1 of these subjects.

See paragraph 216 of the School Inspection Handbook for more details.

How deep dives work

Your senior