How Ofsted inspects teacher training institutions

Information for initial teacher education (ITE) providers about the inspection process and what happens during an Ofsted visit.

Getting notice of an inspection

An initial teacher education (ITE) partnership will get a call 2 working days before the inspection begins. The inspection support administrator from Ofsted will contact the partnership to let it know about the inspection and email a notification letter.

Before the inspection visit

ITE partnerships will set out the inspection timetable in discussion with the lead inspector and make practical arrangements for the inspection team.

The partnership is given a letter to send by email to any school, college or other setting inspectors will visit as part of the ITE inspection.

During the inspection visit

Inspectors spend as much time as possible gathering first-hand evidence about the quality of training across the partnership. This involves observations of:

  • school, college and/or setting and/or centre-based training delivered by mentors and trainers
  • trainees’ and former trainees’ teaching

Lead inspectors may ask for some teaching observations to be jointly carried out with mentors and/or trainers. For these observations, the mentor or trainer rather than the inspector would give feedback to the trainee.

After the inspection visit

The lead inspector writes a report about the main inspection findings.

The ITE partnership gets the inspection report within 15 working days of the end of the inspection to check its factual accuracy. They will have 5 working days to respond.

The final report is sent to the partnership within 23 working days of the end of the inspection and the report is published online, normally within 28 working days of the end of the inspection.

Complaints about an inspection

Any complaints about the inspection should be raised with the lead inspector straight away.

If you are not satisfied with the lead inspector’s response or wish to take the complaint further read the complaints procedure.

Further guidance

You can read the full guidance for inspections of initial teacher training providers.

Published 3 December 2014
Last updated 3 September 2015 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect September 2015 inspection guidance.
  2. First published.