What is an Ofsted inspection and what do the ratings mean?

If you work in a school or an environment that offers learning such as a nursery or college, one of the most stressful things you can hear is that Ofsted are coming in to your school. It’s not that the school is necessarily doing anything wrong or has anything to hide, but the whole process is said to be extremely stressful and can put added pressure on a teacher’s already busy schedule.

Ofsted are there to inspect these places of learning to check how they are doing in different areas. The areas that they come out to check are split in to:

Overall effectiveness, Effectiveness of leadership and management, Quality of teaching, learning and assessment, Personal development / behaviour and welfare, Outcomes for children and learners and The effectiveness of early years and sixth form provision, where applicable.

Once the inspection has taken place it usually takes a few weeks for the report to be published. Even if the school knows how well they have done, they are not allowed to say until the inspection has been published. These grades can be Outstanding, Good, Notice to Improve or inadequate. Depending on the outcome, Ofsted may have to return within 12 months to check if progress has been made.