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Ofsted announces changes to policy on inspection intervals

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On 12 April, Ofsted announced a change to the timing of inspections for the following:

  • Good schools
  • Non-exempt outstanding special schools, PRUs and maintained nursery schools
  • Schools judged as 'requires improvement'
  • Schools judged as having serious weaknesses or requiring special measures.

Good schools 

The school inspection handbook has been amended as follows, moving the inspection interval from three to four years:

Para 21  '…Schools judged to be good at their previous section 5 inspection will normally receive a one-day short inspection, carried out under section 8, approximately every four years, as long as the quality of education remains good at each short inspection.'

Para 23 'Pupil referral units, special schools (including maintained special schools and non-maintained special schools) and maintained nursery schools that were judged good or outstanding at their previous section 5 inspection will normally receive short inspections approximately every four years carried out under section 8, to confirm that the quality of education remains good or outstanding.'

Inspection of schools judged as requires improvement, and schools judged as having serious weaknesses or requiring special measures (as relevant)

For these schools, section 5 inspections can take place up to 30 months after the publication of the last section 5 inspection.