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.

Last reviewed on 4 March 2024See updates
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  1. Your individual policies won't be graded
  2. Ofsted will focus on implementation

Your individual policies won't be graded

Ofsted doesn't:

  • Make graded judgements about individual policies
  • Issue set criteria on what you should have in a policy or how you should present it

We were told this by Ofsted.

Usually, inspectors will only want to talk to people to assess their understanding of any procedures you've set out in policies, rather than look at the policies directly.

Inspectors will review some of your policies before the inspection

The leader inspector will do this as part of their preparation for the 'educationally focused conversation'. This is the phone call after the initial notification call that Ofsted will make.

We can't tell you which policies they'll review before the inspection, but the school inspection handbook lists safeguarding, behaviour, and relationships, sex and health education as examples.

See paragraph 103 of the inspection handbook for details. 

They can do this for any policies that