Last reviewed on 31 August 2017
School types: All · School phases: All
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What kind of leadership makes a school ‘outstanding’? We look at the School Inspection Handbook, which includes the criteria for ‘outstanding’ leadership, and an annual report from Ofsted. We also highlight comments on leadership in inspection reports from ‘outstanding’ schools.

Ofsted criteria

The School Inspection Handbook sets out grades descriptors inspectors use to reach their judgements.

Leaders and governors have created a culture that enables pupils and staff to excel. They are committed unwaveringly to setting high expectations for the conduct of pupils and staff. Relationships between staff and pupils are exemplary Leaders and governors focus on consistently improving outcomes for all pupils, but especially for disadvantaged pupils. They are uncompromising in their ambition The school’s actions have secured substantial improvement in progress for disadvantaged pupils. Progress is rising across the curriculum, including in English and mathematics Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and, within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the school’s work Leaders promote equality of opportunity and diversity exceptionally well, for pupils and staff, so that the ethos and culture of the