Research and analysis

Reliability of short school inspections

This report seeks to answer the question: Do two inspectors inspecting the same school make consistent decisions?



In January 2015, Ofsted announced its intention to carry out a study of the reliability of short inspections after they were introduced in September 2015. This was in response to criticism that Ofsted had not done enough in the past to reassure heads and teachers that school inspection judgements were consistent and reliable.

This study was designed to be a first step in collecting evidence on the reliability of inspections. It aimed to evaluate how frequently 2 inspectors independently conducting a short inspection of the same school on the same day agreed on the outcome of the inspection.

Read HMCI Amanda Spielman’s commentary on this study

Published 7 March 2017