Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): boarding schools and residential special schools

7. Notice

The length of notice given before an inspection and the information we request.

7.1 Notice of an inspection

For a standalone inspection of boarding or residential provision, schools are notified of an inspection by a telephone call from the lead inspector at least 1 hour before the inspection team arrives on the first day of the inspection. This will be confirmed by email.

Where serious welfare or safeguarding concerns have been identified before the inspection, the inspection will usually be unannounced.

For all other types of inspection the notice period may be longer. Some inspections for example a material change may be agreed in advance. (See section 9.7)

We ask schools to give the inspector access to premises and records and space for the inspector to work. Inspectors may need some help to navigate the system where records are electronic. Schools don’t need to provide files in hard copy unless these are already used, although the inspector may ask for specific reports or documents to be printed.

7.2 Request for information from schools

When notification of an inspection is given, inspectors send the school a copy of Annex A, which requests information about the children and young people, staffing and records. They agree when the completed information will be available. If the inspection is unannounced the inspector will give the school a copy of annex A.

The information supports the inspection process and informs the inspection findings. It may generate extra lines of enquiry.

The inspector will also provide a letter for the school to send to the parents and carers of all pupils inviting them to fill in Parent View.

Schools can download a copy of Annex A and keep this updated in preparation for their inspection and send this electronically to the inspector during the inspection. Some of the information will be stored by Ofsted for data analysis purposes. No personal data is stored.