School inspection handbook

Guidance for inspecting schools under the common inspection framework, with a mythbuster document on common misconceptions.


School inspection handbook

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School inspection handbook

Ofsted inspections: myths


The handbook sets out what inspectors must do and what schools can expect, and provides guidance for inspectors on making their judgements. It describes the main activities undertaken by inspectors conducting inspections of schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. It also sets out the judgements that inspectors will make and on which they will report.

This handbook was updated on 13 October 2017: all changes will take effect on 30 October.

It is to be used in inspections under the ‘Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years’.

The mythbuster document sets out facts about Ofsted’s requirements and dispels myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in schools.

Read the handbook for short, monitoring and unannounced behaviour school inspections.