https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2016/02/08/inspection-timescales/

Inspection timescales

There’s been some speculation about the timing of inspections, particularly of the new short inspections, and I understand that some schools may be anxious about where they are.

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When we introduced short inspections of good schools in September 2015, we moved from a cycle in which these schools were fully inspected on average every three years and seven months, to one where we aim to visit them approximately every three years. This will help us to identify decline earlier or give good schools the opportunity to demonstrate improvement sooner.

Transitional year 

However, with this academic year being a transitional one, it means that we will not be in the ‘three-year cycle’ for all good schools straight away – we will be moving towards it. Therefore, the first short inspection for a good school is likely to fall more than three years after its last inspection. However, statute dictates that this cannot go beyond the end of the fifth academic year after the previous inspection.

Please remember though that it’s best not to try to predict the date of your inspection based on when the last one took place and sometimes, Ofsted will inspect very soon after your last inspection if we have concerns.

Schools requiring improvement

Schools judged as Requires Improvement will be re-inspected under section 5 of the Act (‘full inspection’) and this could be up to 30 months after the publication of the previous report.

Recently appointed headteachers of schools judged to require improvement and those who may have questions/concerns about the scheduling of their next inspection may write to the relevant Ofsted Regional Director to set out the context of their school’s present position. Any decision on the timing of the inspection will be for the Regional Director.

Focus on the children

That said, we do not expect schools to start planning and preparing for inspection. Our inspectors want to see leaders and teachers doing what they do well on a daily basis. Some of my colleagues have been reiterating this in a series of #OfstedMyths videos – rather than preparing for the process of an Ofsted inspection, just focus on what’s best for the pupils.

120 comments

  1. Comment by M Tomlinson posted on

    You may suggest that schools do not behave differently, but school leaderships team punish teachers who do not follow the strange and unnecessary suggestions put forward. In the attempt to get consistent marking across the school, we have to mark in the same manner, so a science teacher marks a piece of work in the same way as an English teacher, although they are looking for different thing. Another issue is the insistence on an even better if statement, which excellent and hardworking students find dispiriting if an amazing piece of work has an extra chore added, even one that I would consider a step too far, because Ofsted demand that the marking must be consistent. Do your inspectors realise that a comment like that will drive the SLT in a school into a frenzy.

    Reply
    • Replies to M Tomlinson>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      M Tomlinson: Ofsted does not expect a certain type and a certain amount of marking. It is for schools to make a decision about their marking based on what works best for their pupils and to put this into their policy. Inspectors will look to see that teachers are marking as set out in the policy, and they'll be looking to see that it's effective.

      Thanks for letting us know - we will continue to clarify areas like this where there are misconceptions.

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by James Rouse posted on

        I think there can be situations where senior leadership teams use Ofsted as a lever to drive change when, in fact, they should have the confidence to make decisions and communicate these based on what is best for the child. In my school, we have a very short (2-sided) policy which states the principles of effective feedback and marking, but not the actual practice. This is translated into "Policy to Practice" documents by subject teams who decide for themselves what effective feedback looks like in their subject. The head of department and the senior leadership team's role is simply to monitor whether subject teams are doing what THEY say they want to do. It seems counter-intuitive that drama would give feedback in the same way as English, PE or History. The impact has been that feedback has become much more effective and manageable.

        Reply
  2. Comment by Susan Hetheridge posted on

    I was wondering if there is a more parent friendly version of the Ofsted report database ( https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/ )? I find it very difficult to know exactly what criteria to use to find a particular establishment.

    Reply
  3. Comment by Jacqui Edgar posted on

    As Sandcross Primary schools's last report was done over 4 years ago, can you tell me please if another is mminent? Thank you (We are looking for a school for our child/grandchild very shortly...

    Reply
    • Replies to Jacqui Edgar>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      The regulations set the interval for section 5 inspections ‘within five school years from the end of the school year in which the last inspection took place.’ I cannot tell you when the inspection will be, I'm afraid.

      Reply
  4. Comment by Yasmeen Lulat posted on

    Is there an absolute maximum time within which a primary will be re inspected? Leanne

    Reply
    • Replies to Yasmeen Lulat>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      The regulations set the interval for section 5 inspections ‘within five school years from the end of the school year in which the last inspection took place.’

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by Steve posted on

        I have a family member at an academy sponsored school, our sponsor was rated 'outstanding' in 2009 but haven't been inspected since, how can you be confident that they are still 'outstanding' without carrying out an inspection within the 5 years timescale you mentioned above?

        Reply
        • Replies to Steve>

          Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

          Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

          However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

          Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

          For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

          Reply
  5. Comment by David Hill posted on

    Would a school receiving very low sats results warrant an ofsted inspection to investigate why they are under achieving

    Reply
    • Replies to David Hill>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Dave, thanks for your query. I'll ask someone in the policy team and see if I can get you an answer.

      Reply
    • Replies to David Hill>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Dave,

      We wouldn't necessarily go in if results dipped in a single year. This can happen, e.g. in schools with small cohorts.

      We look at trends in performance over time. If however results dropped significantly and we became aware of other issues or concerns, that might influence the timing of the next inspection.

      Reply
  6. Comment by Rebecca Pickering posted on

    Hi there,
    Re. Tendring Primary
    Our school was classed as 'outstanding' in 2008
    Since then our head has left and our children are no longer getting a good standard of education as the school is not being well led in my opinion. After looking around this website I understand we should have at least had a five yearly inspection? It's been over eight years, surely no school should be ignored for this amount of time?

    Regards,
    Rebecca

    Reply
    • Replies to Rebecca Pickering>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Rebeccca, Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

      Reply
  7. Comment by Prefer not to leave name as I work in this school. posted on

    If a school hasn't been inspected for 10 years and a new head appointed Sept 15 when will the next inspection be?

    Reply
    • Replies to Prefer not to leave name as I work in this school.>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      In response to your question if a schools has not been inspected in ten years, it is because it was outstanding at its last inspection and is therefore exempt from routine inspection. If Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) or the Secretary of State has concerns about the performance of an exempt school (or any other school covered by section 5), HMCI has powers to inspect it at any time under section 8 of the Act.

      Outstanding schools do not qualify for improvement periods for new headteachers. This is only for schools judged to ‘require improvement’, where a new headteacher joins the school after the section 5 judgement. In this case the school will be re-inspected no later than 30 months after the publication of the previous report.

      Reply
    • Replies to Prefer not to leave name as I work in this school.>

      Comment by Janet posted on

      This is the same situation my sister faces working in a school, during the last "outstanding" Ofsted inspection teachers went and ripped up, yes, ripped up questionaires filled in by parents, that had complaints/grievances or any where the parents rated the school as poor so that it doesn't affect their Ofsted score.
      The school is nowhere near outstanding.
      BARE TREES PRIMARY CHADDERTON OLDHAM.

      Reply
      • Replies to Janet>

        Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

        Hi, Thank you for your recent communication about Bare Trees Primary Chadderton Oldham.

        You have expressed concerns that parental feedback was witheld by teachers at the school on a previous inspection. The last inspection was over 5 years ago.

        In the first instance you need to try to resolve this issue with the head teacher and governors.

        If you feel the school is not outstanding, then you would need to address this with the governors also.

        If you remain unsatisfied, details of how to complain to Ofsted are on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-school

        Reply
  8. Comment by Claire Cox posted on

    What happens to schools that were outstanding at their last Ofsted? I teach at a school that gained outstanding 6 years ago however the head has changed so much that I think the school would now fail an Ofsted . Parents consider the school outstanding when it most certainly is not. When will Ofsted visit please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Claire Cox>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, apologies for the delay in responding. Some categories of schools judged outstanding at their most recent inspection are exempt from routine inspection (section 5), although they can be inspected under section 8 if Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector or the Secretary of State for Education has concerns about performance. They may also be inspected as part of Ofsted’s survey work.

      Reply
  9. Comment by Ashish Sharma posted on

    Dear comms team,
    I understand that inspections are due in 5 years by law.
    Is there someone I can send a reminder to that my neighbourhood primary school (URN: 101296) last had its inspection in 2008? Or would you know why it does not need inspections?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Ashish Sharma>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, sorry about the delay in responding. Regulations stipulate that Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, since 2012, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

      Schools can request inspections and any interested party can write to Ofsted with their views on a school.

      Reply
  10. Comment by sam mc posted on

    if a school got 'needs improvement' at their last inspection. how long would it be till a new inspection is done? tia

    Reply
    • Replies to sam mc>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi - sorry about the delay in responding. In answer to your query - a school judged as ‘requires improvement’ may be monitored by Ofsted and will normally have a full (section 5) re-inspection after around 2 years.

      Reply
  11. Comment by LisaB posted on

    My daughters school Oakworth Primary last had a full ofsted inspection in January 2007 so over 10 years ago! Although I understand you can't tell me if an inspection is imminent, I would appreciate your comments on the large gap in inspections and whether this is normal? I see from comments above that regulations state a school should receive an inspection every 5 years max and we are well past this now. Can a school be missed?

    Reply
    • Replies to LisaB>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi - sorry about the delay in responding. In answer to your query - Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

      Reply
  12. Comment by Elf posted on

    I am wanting to know what the maximum time between official Ofsted inspections are. My primary school had a School inspection in 2003, it then had a Reduced tariff school inspection in 2008, and finally a Interim Assessment statement in 2011. This leads me to conclude that my child's primary school has not received an actual visit since Jan 2008. A total of 9 years without anyone from Ofsted visiting the site. Again I ask what is the current official maximum time limit between actual site visits/full inspections. Is this school well overdue for a full inspection regardless of performance stats.

    Reply
    • Replies to Elf>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi - apologies for the late response. In answer to your query - Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

      Reply
  13. Comment by Mrs UninSpected posted on

    My school hasn't had an ofsted visit since 2006...

    Reply
    • Replies to Mrs UninSpected>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi - sorry about the delay in responding. In answer to your query - Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook.

      Reply
  14. Comment by Penny Johnson posted on

    Should a school undergo an Ofsted inspection within the first twelve months of a new head teacher being in post?

    Reply
    • Replies to Penny Johnson>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, apologies for the delay in responding. In answer to your query - it is possible for inspections to take place a year following the appointment of a new headteacher. The inspection is considers all aspects of the school, including leadership and management across the school and the governance of the school. A new headteacher would not in itself be a trigger for an inspection, nor would it delay an inspection taking place.

      However, some schools qualify for an improvement period. These only apply where headteachers who took up headship after the school was judged ‘require improvement’. These schools will be re-inspected in no later than 30 months. This is set out in the Department for Education’s white paper, Educational excellence everywhere.

      Reply
  15. Comment by Concerned Teacher posted on

    It has been suggested at my school that despite being inspected Feb 2016 and judged as good (one day visit) because a new ht was appointed Jan 2017 we will be inspected in 12 months time. Reading your website the indication is that in all likelihood it would be three years? Are we being misinformed?

    Reply
    • Replies to Concerned Teacher>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, many apologies for the late response. In answer to your query - the information on Ofsted’s website is correct, once a school has received its first short inspection, further short inspections will be conducted at approximately three-year intervals.

      However, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector retains the right to inspect any school at any time if it has sufficient concerns, or if the secretary of state request for us to do so.

      For further information about short inspections of good schools please see the School inspection handbook.

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by anon posted on

        Please can you request HM inspector (s) to inspect my childrens school as for the past 2 years all they seem to come home with are poorly photocopied "masks" with eyes cut out, cellotaped onto a lolly stick, for every topic they cover, this is the only activity that they do. (I have kept all these. The school is poorly managed, and we as parents cannot say anything without being either patronised or intimidated by the headteacher.
        Last inspection was in 2014 and rated "good".
        Due another inspection.
        HELP PLEASE!!

        Reply
        • Replies to anon>

          Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

          Hi, Thank you for your recent communication about Burnley Brow Community Primary School. I am sorry you have concerns about the quality of the school work and the management of the school.

          If you have concerns about your school, I would recommend you follow the local complaints route. If you remain unsatisfied, details of how to complain to Ofsted are on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-school

          Reply
  16. Comment by Daniele posted on

    Hi. I was wondering what the inspection timeframes are for a creche on non domestic property? They scored 'good' in 2005 and now there are no more reports to be read about the creche my daughter is at and its 2017?? This seems too long seeing as they have children 0-3. I feel children as vulnerable as that need to have annual inspections of their providers.

    Reply
    • Replies to Daniele>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, sorry for the late reply. to answer your query - providers registered on the Early Years Register are inspected at least once in every cycle. There have been two inspection cycles since this provider’s 2005 inspection. However, if the provider is only registered on the Childcare Register they will not be inspected unless they are selected as part of a 10% sample that we inspect every year.

      Reply
  17. Comment by Sbu posted on

    Hi. My daughter's primary school had its last Ofsted inspection in November 2011. When is the next inspection due, as it now has been close to 5 and a half years since the last one?

    Reply
    • Replies to Sbu>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hello, We can't say when the next inspection is due because it depends on a number of factors, i.e previous grade, whether the school has converted to academy status or been rebrokered.

      Reply
  18. Comment by Sarah Allison posted on

    Are there any plans for a Religious Education report following on from 'Religious education: Realising the Potential' (2013)?

    Reply
    • Replies to Sarah Allison>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, sorry for the delay in responding. At present Ofsted doesn't have any plans to produce a Religious Education report in the near future.

      Reply
  19. Comment by Robin Haselgrove posted on

    Outstanding schools? Do they ever get Inspected? My local school was last inspected 7 years ago! ?

    Reply
    • Replies to Robin Haselgrove>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Robin, Some categories of schools judged outstanding at their most recent inspection are exempt from routine inspection (section 5), although they can be inspected under section 8 if Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector or the Secretary of State for Education has concerns about performance. They may also be inspected as part of Ofsted’s survey work.

      Reply
  20. Comment by JSpalding posted on

    Hi. I am just wondering why my children's school in St Nicholas at wade has not been ofsteded for nearly 10 years, even after a new head has gone in. I would be very surprised if it was still outstanding!

    Reply
    • Replies to JSpalding>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Some categories of schools judged outstanding at their most recent inspection are exempt from routine inspection (section 5), although they can be inspected under section 8 if Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector or the Secretary of State for Education has concerns about performance. They may also be inspected as part of Ofsted’s survey work.

      Reply
  21. Comment by Anon posted on

    My school went into special measures in Nov 2014; the report was published Jan 2015. It then became an Academy in August 2015 and therefore is in effect a different school with no Ofsted rating. How much longer before we will be inspected? It is a very different and much improved school from the one that was inspected back in 2014.

    Reply
    • Replies to Anon>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, As this school has become an academy, it will be classified as a new sponsored academy and therefore inspected as a new school in its third year of operation; that will be sometime within the 2017/18 academic year.

      Reply
  22. Comment by Cate O posted on

    Countesthorpe Leysland Community College has converted to an academy, however the ofstead report gives it an outstanding rating. This was done in 2013 and Leysland High School was outstanding. However Countesthorpe Community College has always had problems. Recently I have heard that a lot of teachers have been unhappy and left. We need to decide on a high school by the end of October of this year for our daughter. How can we know what is happening at this academy? Will there be a new ofstead inspection?

    Reply
    • Replies to Cate O>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection. However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection. We can't say when the next inspection is due because it depends on a number of factors.

      Reply
  23. Comment by frankrom posted on

    Many comments are from parents that their children' "outstanding" schools haven't been inspected for much longer than the standard 5 years for "good" schools or lower. It's understood that these schools are exempt from section 5 of the Education Act - but the question is, how long are they exempt for? Is there an upper limit? Or does Ofsted cease to inspect a school once it's been classified as "Outstanding" and the Chief Inspector or Secretary of State for Education have no concerns about it? What is the rationale based on which an "Outstanding" school is assumed to remain "Outstanding" for an indefinite period of time? Isn't this penalising for the children attending that school, in case the school's performance drops considerably during the years with no inspections?

    Reply
    • Replies to frankrom>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, By law, schools judged as outstanding at their last inspection are exempt from further routine section 5 inspection unless concerns are raised about their performance. However, outstanding (exempt) schools continue to be subject to risk assessment. Where the risk assessment identifies sufficient concerns about decline in the performance of pupils’ academic achievement and overall decline in performance, these outstanding schools will receive a section 8 no formal designation inspection.

      If during the course of the inspection, the lead inspector finds that the school may no longer be outstanding, then the lead inspector may convert the inspection to a section 5 inspection. In addition, the Chief Inspector must inspect a school where required to do so by the Secretary of State. They may also be inspected as part of Ofsted’s survey work.

      Reply
  24. Comment by Missmoss posted on

    I understand that guidance says an inspection of a primary school rated good at the last inspection, and having not changed to an academy, would be within 5 academic years. Does this mean, if a school was inspected Sept 2012, it's next inspection would need to be before the end of July 2017 or the end of July 2018?

    Reply
    • Replies to Missmoss>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, From 1 September 2015, all schools judged to be good at their previous section 5 inspection have received a one-day short inspection, carried out under section 8, approximately every three years. It is possible that some goods schools have yet to be inspected under the current policy. However, all good schools would have been inspected by the end of the five years from their last full section 5 inspection.

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by Missmoss posted on

        Thank you. Could you offer further clarification in regard to actual years/ academic years? If the last inspection graded good was September 2012 and there has been no change from maintained status and no one day inspection since, would the latest date for the follow up inspection be by the end of five actual years- ie September 2017 or the end of five academic years- ie July 2018?

        Reply
        • Replies to Missmoss>

          Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

          Hi, The regulations set the interval for section 5 inspections ‘within five school years from the end of the school year in which the last inspection took place'. From 1 September 2015, all schools judged to be good at their previous section 5 inspection will receive a one-day short inspection, carried out under section 8. In this case, the school should receive a short inspection anytime in the 2017-18 academic year. Once a school has received its first short inspection, further short inspections will be conducted at approximately three-year intervals provided the quality of education remains good.

          Reply
  25. Comment by Dr Smith posted on

    My daughter is due to attend Beaconsfield High School in September, However parents of existing pupils are telling me that standards, particularly in mathematics have fallen, and that for two years running nearly all of the maths teachers, including two successive heads of Dept have left the school. On checking on your site I note that the last section 5 OFSTED inspection was over ten years ago, in May 2007. How can I be sure that you are checking standards are being upkept and the management of the school are up to the job, when a decade has passed since you last inspected?

    Reply
    • Replies to Dr Smith>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection. However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection. We can't say when the next inspection is due because it depends on a number of factors.

      Reply
  26. Comment by titchvic123 posted on

    It seems from your responses that certain schools that received an outstanding status in a previous inspection are not required to undergo another. Personally I feel this is flawed as a lot can change in 10 years. However, you say a school may have an inspection if there are concerns about it's performance - how do I go about raising these concerns? My concerns are around the attitude and bullying mentality of the headteacher. Many children have left the school in the last 6 months as a result of her approach. The class teachers however are great. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. Comment by Mrs B posted on

    Our school has received 'RI' twice, now. I am led to believe that this years SATS for KS2 were poor. What happens now? If we become an Academy does this wipe the slate clean (it should not)? Surely a change in leadership would be more appropriate? Would Ofsted advocate this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Mrs B>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, There may be further RI monitoring and then another section 5 inspection at the school usually within 24 months. If at the next section 5 inspection the school is still not good, the inspection team will examine carefully how well leaders and managers are working to improve the school or whether there is further stasis or decline in standards. If the school was judged inadequate and received a directive academy order by the Secretary of State for Education it then receives a new URN and will be treated as a new school. The new academy will then be inspected within three years and, usually, during its third year of operation. Ofsted does not advocate particular ways of running schools or changes in leadership. This is a matter for the governing body.

      Reply
  28. Comment by KS posted on

    I work at an independent school which has been judged as Inadequate by OFSTED in March of this year. This has meant that we cannot issue CAS visa numbers for international students outside of the EU which could result in closure of the school. Since this inspection we have received one monitoring and progress inspection and are close to being at RI or good. Can we request a full inspection as soon as we believe that we are in a position to meet requirements? Ideally we need to be re-inspected by Christmas.

    Reply
    • Replies to KS>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Thank you for your enquiry. I am checking this out and will get back to you once I have an answer.

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by Kevin Samson posted on

        It is now June 2018 and no reply has been received since posting this comment in August 2017. Please can I get a reply? Thank you.

        Reply
        • Replies to Kevin Samson>

          Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

          Hi, Thank you for your enquiry. The blog about inspection timescales you have mentioned relates to state-funded schools. There are separate arrangements for the inspection of independent schools, full details of which can be found in the non-association independent school inspection handbook: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-association-independent-school-inspection-handbook-from-september-2015.

          You will see that this sets out that schools inspected from January 2015 that are judged as requires improvement or inadequate will normally have a standard inspection within two years of the previous standard inspection.

          However, all independent schools are inspected at the direction of the Department for Education (DfE), which is the registration authority for independent schools. Therefore, Ofsted may be asked to inspect an independent school at any time. This might occur, for example, where the DfE has particular concerns about a school. You may therefore wish to contact the DfE if you have any further queries about the timing of your inspection.

          Reply
  29. Comment by S Bennett posted on

    My local school - Dundry COfE primarylast had a section 8 inspection in 2014 after receiving several previous reports stating that the school required Improvement. There have been several changes including SMT / teaching staff etc. When will the school be re inspected to reassure parents that standars have been raised?

    Reply
    • Replies to S Bennett>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Timing of inspection is dependent on the outcome of the last inspection. Although this school might have had a section 8 inspection in 2014, there could be a number of reasons for the section 8 inspection. Our records shows that a Dundry CofE Primay School with the following address, 110 Dundry Lane, Bristol, Somerset, BS41 8JE, closed in May 2016 and reopened as a sponsored-led academy in June 2016.

      If this is the right school, then it is a new school and will be inspected in accordance with our policy statement for inspecting new schools. A new school will be inspected within three years of opening.

      Reply
  30. Comment by Simon posted on

    I'm concerned about my child's primary school which was judged as outstanding in 2008. It's now 2017 and although many parents try hard to get their children into this school because they see that the last inspection was outstanding, my experience of it in my son's first 2 years is not what I'd call outstanding. If a school is not inspected for 9 years, how can parents trust that the outstanding rating has any value? I can see from many of the other comments here that I'm not the only one concerned about this and there must be hundreds, possibly thousands of schools that haven't been inspected for more than 5 years. Something needs to change.

    Reply
    • Replies to Simon>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Simon, by law, schools judged as outstanding at their last inspection are exempt from further routine section 5 inspection unless concerns are raised about their performance. However, outstanding (exempt) schools continue to be subject to risk assessment. Where the risk assessment identifies sufficient concerns about decline in the performance of pupils’ academic achievement and overall decline in performance, these outstanding schools will receive a section 8 no formal designation inspection. Outstanding schools are subject to risk assessment process.I hope that's helpful.

      Reply
    • Replies to Simon>

      Comment by Louisa posted on

      Hi Simon
      I 100% agree, something needs to change. My child's old primary school, like yours has not been inspected since 2008 and obviously a lot has happened since then. Again, similar story to you, parents try hard to get their child into the school because of the outstanding rating - and it definitely isn't! I made the decision in the end to remove my child from this school to another school (an Ofsted rated 'good' one!). An 'outstanding' rating from 9 years ago is ridiculous and of no value whatsoever. The fact that 'Outstanding' schools are exempt from a full inspection is beyond me!

      Reply
  31. Comment by James Rourke posted on

    We are a good school (last inspected under Section 5 in September 2012). We are therefore legally due a Short Inspection within the next academic year (within end of five academic years since our Section 5).

    Our school currently has an academy order in place from the DFE with plans to become a converter academy within a local MAT on 1st November 2018 (over a year away).

    Could the academy order result in us not being chosen for inspection?

    Reply
    • Replies to James Rourke>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, When a school is subject to an academy order, the school is considered a new school and is inspected within three years of operation, normally in the third year. However, where a school converts voluntarily to become an academy, Ofsted may take account of the timing of last inspection of the predecessor school in determining when to inspect.

      Reply
      • Replies to Ofsted external relations>

        Comment by G Harden posted on

        Does the clock start ticking from the date the academy order is issued or from the date of the actual conversion>

        Reply
        • Replies to G Harden>

          Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

          HI, When a maintained school is judged inadequate, it will be issued with an academy order, in order for it to become a sponsored academy. Once the school becomes an academy, it will be inspected within three years.

          Reply
  32. Comment by Jo posted on

    The school my daughter will probably transfer to in Sept 18 last had an Ofsted "Reduced Tariff Inspection Report" in Jan 2009. There has been a change of head since this report and, I believe, 6 new teachers started in Sept 17. The feeling among the local community is that the school is not as good as it used to be. When is it likely to have its next Ofsted?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jo>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Regulations state ‘the interval is a period not exceeding 5 years after the end of the school year in which the earlier section 5 inspection was carried out’ (The Education (School Inspection) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015). The exceptions to this requirement are schools that are exempt from section 5 inspection (known as ‘exempt schools’). Schools judged to be outstanding are exempt. The policy is set out in the School inspection handbooks <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-from-september-2015">School inspection handbook</a>.

      A change of headteacher would not itself be a trigger for an inspection, nor would it delay an inspection taking place. Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment and Ofsted can inspect an exempt school where there are concerns.

      Reply
  33. Comment by T posted on

    My friends son school which is an independent SEMH school had an inspection and was graded inadequate (jul). The head has left as well as the deputies. They have an super head in place temporary. She is worried the school will be shut especially as her son is settled there and she has only ever had a good experience of the school. How much notice will there be if the school is to shut or will the school get the chance to make improvements. if they remain open how often will they be check up on?

    Reply
  34. Comment by K Williams posted on

    I am another concerned parent with a child at an 'outstanding' school Last inspection 2015. Yes I know you'll say by law etc...
    But we have changed head teacher, had a year with no teacher due to illness/leaving, half my child's class are receiving extra lessons from the school now to try and bring them up to standard. Only 2 girls in year 6 passed the 11 plus.
    We chose this school because it was rated outstanding, I am not convinced it still merits this grade. Yet I have no way of knowing...

    Reply
  35. Comment by Jane posted on

    West Bridgford school appears to have had its last inspection in November 2011. Can you explain how this fits with the "no more than 5 years" timetable, please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jane>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Regulations state ‘the interval is a period not exceeding 5 years after the end of the school year in which the earlier section 5 inspection was carried out’ (The Education (School Inspection) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015). The exceptions to this requirement are schools that are exempt from section 5 inspection (known as ‘exempt schools’). Schools judged to be outstanding are exempt. The policy is set out in the School inspection handbook.

      If the school being referred to is ‘The West Bridgford School’ then it’s last inspection was 23 November 2011 when it was judged ‘Outstanding’. It then converted to an academy. Where a school converts voluntarily to become an academy, Ofsted may take account of the timing of last inspection of the predecessor school in determining when to inspect. However exempt schools are subject to risk assessment and Ofsted can inspect an exempt school at any time where concerns have been raised.

      Reply
  36. Comment by S posted on

    My child's school was rated as requires improvement in Spring 2015 and then again in March 2017. I think we were told that a further inspection would be due within 12 months but the head teacher left with immediate effect days after the visit and months before the report came out. I think we would of been due another inspection within the next couple of months but we have a new head teacher since September 2018 so does this mean the school won't now have another inspection?

    Reply
    • Replies to S>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, A school judged as requires improvement will receive a full (section 5) inspection usually no later than the end of the term in which the 24th month after the publication of the latest inspection report falls. However, where a new headteacher joins the school after the section 5 ‘requires improvement’ judgement, the school will normally be re-inspected no later than 30 months after the publication of the previous report.

      Reply
  37. Comment by Harry posted on

    Hi - a secondary school has not changed status, is not an academy and was graded ‘good’ in the last inspection in March 2012.
    It is therefore 5 years and 11 months since the last inspection.
    How is this possible under the 5 year rule?

    Reply
  38. Comment by Samantha Wilson posted on

    How often should a school be subjected to an ofsted inspection?
    I have been attempting to contact ofstead on various telephone numbers, just to receive an automated answer machine, with no facility to leave a message or speak to anyone.

    I would appreciate someone contacting me in relation to this issue.

    My local school is an academy and has not been inspected in over 8 years. I feel this is unacceptable time scale and this school is overdue an inspection.

    Reply
    • Replies to Samantha Wilson>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi,

      The timing of the inspection will depend on the outcome of the school’s previous inspection. Without details of the academy, I’m unable to address the specific query. However, by law, Ofsted is required to inspect schools that are subject to inspection (under section of the Education Act 2005) at prescribed intervals of within five years from the end of the school year in which the last inspection took place.

      The exception to this requirement are schools that are exempt from routine inspection. Most maintained primary and secondary schools, and academies, that were judged to be outstanding at their most recent inspection are exempt from routine inspection under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

      Reply
  39. Comment by Ellie posted on

    A secondary school in my local area had its last full inspection in May 2009, they were awarded outstanding. Since then it has become an academy with a number of government affiliations. Yes their results continue to show that they are doing well but surely they need to be standardised?! Having been on placement there, I witnessed instances where coursework was altered - this should be the kind of details that an inspection picks up on. Am I to assume that if your academy ‘fits the bill’ then it is acceptable to not be checked for 9 academic years?

    Reply
    • Replies to Ellie>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi,

      The timing of the inspection will depend on the outcome of the school’s previous inspection. Without details of the academy, I’m unable to address the specific query. However, by law, Ofsted is required to inspect schools that are subject to inspection (under section of the Education Act 2005) at prescribed intervals of within five years from the end of the school year in which the last inspection took place.

      The exception to this requirement are schools that are exempt from routine inspection. Most maintained primary and secondary schools, and academies, that were judged to be outstanding at their most recent inspection are exempt from routine inspection under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. This exemption also applies to former outstanding maintained schools that have since become academies (known as academy converters). The exemption from inspection does not apply to outstanding special schools, pupil referral units or maintained nursery schools; these schools, along with schools that are judged as good at their previous inspection, will be inspected approximately every three years. Please see the school inspection handbook for detailed information School inspection handbook

      Reply
  40. Comment by Rueben Jones posted on

    I've heard different accounts of how exempt outstanding maintained mainstream schools are inspected if Ofsted have concerns about standards. I'm aware that many are inspected under section 8 no formal designation arrangements and may convert to section 5 after the one day inspection. However, there is a rumour that exempt schools can have a section 5 inspection straight away without the S8 NFD inspection taking place. Is this yet another myth doing the rounds?

    Reply
  41. Comment by Sarah Edwards posted on

    I am trying to find the Ofsted report for Litherland High School in Sefton. It was last inspected in 2014 and was put on special measures. The report is on the school website, along with a further monitoring report but not on the Ofsted site itself. From the comments above, it should have been re-inspected with 30 months of the 2014 report but does not seem to have been. Please could you clear this up for me?

    Reply
    • Replies to Sarah Edwards>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, The original school was closed in February 2015 and became a sponsor led academy on 1 March 2015. These type of schools are new legal entities and are inspected as new schools in their third year of operation. This school recently had a section 5 inspection. The report should be published soon. We can't release this information as it’s not yet in the public domain.

      Reply
  42. Comment by A concerned parent posted on

    Hello, 2 questions, I’m not sure when our next review is due but... Does Ofsted look and the number of teacher and children that leave / change schools. For roughly 6 months a lot of staff have been leaving their role, mid term even and a lot of parents have decided to remove those children from the school for a differnt school of even to home school just to get them out. Is this monitored at all? Also I know a few complaints have been made to the head governor with regards to the school, mainly regarding treatment of Sen children but nothing seems to be changing, does ofstead get to see the complain made against school

    Reply
    • Replies to A concerned parent>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Thanks for your comment. During an inspection, the inspection team will gather as much information as possible about the school, including any changes that might affect education standards, so this might include detail of teacher and pupil turnover. We gather staff views through questionnaires during inspection, and check how leaders ensure that staff are motivated and supported. We also look at views from the Parent View questionnaire and any significant concerns brought to our attention. When preparing for an inspection, the lead inspector will look at any issues raised from an investigation of any qualifying complaints about the school. We look carefully at data on the progress of children with special educational needs and disabilities, and how well funded support for children with SEND has narrowed the gap in progress and attainment for them. There are separate procedures that parents can follow if they consider that the school is not meeting the needs of a pupil with special educational needs: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-school/sen-complaints

      Reply
  43. Comment by Rose posted on

    I think the law needs to be reviewed in regards to outstanding schools that are exempt from being reviewed as regularly as a good school. It is far too long to go without an inspection for 5 years or more as standards can drop quickly. As I have just recently found out, and as a parent this is very disheartening when you have moved your child from one school to another.

    Reply
  44. Comment by Donna Bedford posted on

    My daughters school is voluntarily converting to an academy in September this year. It was last inspected in July 2016 and judged as good. Will it be classed as a new school and then be inspected in its third year or will it be inspected in July 2019?

    Reply
    • Replies to Donna Bedford>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Donna. Our general policy on inspecting new schools is that they have a section 5 in their third year (any time within that year). The general policy on schools that qualify for short inspections is that they will normally be inspected around 3 years after the last inspection report was published.

      Reply
  45. Comment by Marcus posted on

    Hi,
    We are choosing a primary school for our daughter but the last Osted report at our local school is dated 2011, when it was rated Oustanding. Since then the head teacher has changed. We have read all the above posts regarding further inspections (or not) of Outstanding rated schools, which seems to suggest that once a school attains this rating it might never be inspected again. What is the check and balance process Ofsted employs to be certain this performance level is maintained over such level long periods (indefinitely) when no re-inspections are occurring?

    Reply
    • Replies to Marcus>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi Marcus, Ofsted is required to inspect all schools to which section 5 of the Education Act applies ‘within five school years’ of the last inspection.

      However, some schools are exempt from this requirement if they were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, it may be inspected at any time after the completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-from-september-2015

      Reply
  46. Comment by Fawad posted on

    Hi, My children are attending Montpelier primary school Ealing London . The last ofsted inspection was conducted in 14 March 2012 which is more than 6 years ago. When are you planning to arrange the next one?

    Reply
    • Replies to Fawad>

      Comment by External relations team posted on

      Hi, Maintained primary and secondary schools and academies that were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection are exempt from inspection under section 5. They can only be inspected under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 where the Chief Inspector considers it necessary or where Ofsted is requested to inspect by the Secretary of State.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, a school may be inspected at any time following completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      Reply
  47. Comment by Jane posted on

    My school was inspected in January 2018 and was awarded a good. Then for un-clear reasons was reinspected again in May 2018- just 5 months later and was awarded a requiring improvement. Can you please explain this.

    Reply
    • Replies to Jane>

      Comment by External relations team posted on

      Hi Jane, A good school normally receives a one day short inspection approximately every four years. The timing of the next inspection can be influenced by a number of different factors (as explained in the blog). For example, the school might have been due a section 5 inspection by law and this has to take place within 5 years or the last section 5 inspection. Or there may have been particular concerns that arose after the short inspection which necessitated a further inspection.

      Reply
  48. Comment by Jane posted on

    Still awaiting my reply on timescale of my schools ofsted inspections this year. We had one in January 2018 in which we were awarded a good . We were told we wouldn’t be inspected for three years. However we were re- inspected in June 2018 and were given a completely different grading?? There was not a parent complaint or safeguarding issue to promp the second inspection. Please explain.

    Reply
    • Replies to Jane>

      Comment by External relations team posted on

      Hi Jane, A good school normally receives a one day short inspection approximately every four years. The timing of the next inspection can be influenced by a number of different factors (as explained in the blog). For example, the school might have been due a section 5 inspection by law and this has to take place within 5 years or the last section 5 inspection. Or there may have been particular concerns that arose after the short inspection which necessitated a further inspection.

      Reply
  49. Comment by Tanya Hall posted on

    Can you please confirm how often nurseries are inspected by OfSted. The previous inspection was March 2016 - where an Outstanding judgement was awarded.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Tanya Hall>

      Comment by External relations team posted on

      Hi Tanya, We normally inspect all settings on the early years register at least once every four years. The current four year cycle began on 1 August 2016.

      There is no exemption for those judged to be outstanding. However, if we have a concern about an early years setting then we will do a risk assessment that may lead to an unscheduled inspection.

      Reply
  50. Comment by Rachel posted on

    We are looking at high schools in the area and noticed that the OFSTED inspection of Archbishop Temple (Preston) was in May 2009. The entire teaching staff has changed since then , how come this hasn’t been reassessed to ensure that they are still an outstanding school?

    Reply
    • Replies to Rachel>

      Comment by External relations team posted on

      Hi, Maintained schools and academies that were judged to be outstanding in their overall effectiveness at their most recent section 5 inspection are exempt from inspection under section 5. They can only be inspected under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 where the Chief Inspector considers it necessary or where Ofsted is requested to inspect by the Secretary of State.

      Exempt schools are subject to risk assessment. If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the performance of an exempt school, a school may be inspected at any time following completion of the risk assessment under section 8.

      For further information please see paragraphs 13 – 19 of the School inspection handbook - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-from-september-2015

      Reply
  51. Comment by Sensitive Fearful posted on

    Our school has just been given a 'requires improvement' outcome. What percentage of lessons observed will have had to have been judged as such for this to be given?

    Reply
  52. Comment by Chris S posted on

    My daughter's primary school converted to an academy in 2012. It has not been inspected since converting. The last inspection of the school prior to conversion was in 2009 and was rated outstanding.

    Does the new academy inherit the outstanding rating and is therefore exempt from inspections. Or should the new academy be inspected irrespective of the previous school's rating? Roughly when would the next inspection be due?

    Reply
    • Replies to Chris S>

      Comment by Ofsted external relations posted on

      Hi, Thank you for your query. With the exception of some special schools and pupil referral units, schools judged outstanding before conversion to academy status are exempt from routine section 5 inspection, unless there are significant concerns about their performance.

      Reply
  53. Comment by Kim Vale posted on

    One of our local schools was judged outstanding in 2008 but has not had an inspection since. A lot can happen in 10 years! Another local school judged ‘good’ in 2016 has significantly better comparable SATS results last year. How can a parent have confidence the school first is still at outstanding level? It would surely be better if all schools were inspected at least every 5 years? How are we to make the best choice based on an assessment from 10 years ago? Thanks.

    Reply

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