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.

Last reviewed on 9 April 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 11106
  1. Safeguarding impacts your 'leadership and management' judgement
  2. Your school should have a positive culture around safeguarding
  3. How Ofsted evaluates your safeguarding culture
  4. Inspectors will look at how you handle allegations of sexual abuse
  5. What 'ineffective' safeguarding looks like
  6. Safeguarding evidence you must give inspectors
  7. Evidence inspectors will look for
  8. Download our template of questions inspectors might ask

Safeguarding impacts your 'leadership and management' judgement

There's no separate graded judgement for safeguarding, but inspectors will judge whether your safeguarding arrangements are 'effective'. 

If safeguarding is ineffective, this will likely lead to an 'inadequate' judgement for 'leadership and management'. 

However, if inspectors identify minor improvements (such as admin errors) that need to be made to strengthen your safeguarding practices, but that don't have an immediate impact on pupils' safety:

  • Inspectors will give you the chance to rectify these issues before the end of the inspection 
  • Your school can still be judged 'effective' for safeguarding, even where these minor improvements can't be made before the end of the inspection

This is explained in paragraphs 393, 416 and 421 of the School Inspection Handbook.

Read more about how Ofsted inspects 'leadership and management' here.

Your school should have a positive culture around safeguarding

Protect pupils from serious harm, both online and offline Are

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.