The inspection of a school provides an independent external evaluation of its effectiveness and a diagnosis of what it should do to improve, based upon a range of evidence, including that from first hand observation by inspectors. Ofsted’s school inspection reports present a written commentary on the quality of a school’s provision.

This framework sets out how the general principles and processes of inspection are applied to maintained schools and several other types of school in England. It states the statutory basis for inspection and summarises the main features of school inspections carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 from January 2012.

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  • Introduction
  • What is the purpose of school inspection?
  • How does inspection promote improvement?
  • What are the key features of this framework and the school inspection arrangements from January 2012?
  • Part A. Inspection policy and principles
  • Part B. The focus of school inspections