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Education inspections in the summer term

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Ofsted will not return to a full programme of graded inspections until September.

Ofsted will inspect schools and further education & skills (FES) providers in the summer term to provide reassurance about how well children and learners are catching up, but it will not resume a full programme of graded inspections until September.

Following extensive discussion with government and education leaders, Ofsted today confirmed that it will undertake on-site, lighter-touch inspections in the summer term. Unlike ‘full’ inspections, these visits will allow inspectors to assess how well schools and FES providers are educating their learners and keeping them safe, but they will not result in a grade.

However, where the evidence strongly suggests that a school’s current grade is no longer a fair reflection of its work – for example where the school is graded ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ but has clearly improved – inspectors will be able to convert to a full, graded inspection either immediately or later in the term. As always, Ofsted will do the same if a visit to a higher-graded school highlights a significant cause for concern.

Ofsted is currently piloting some limited changes to inspection methods to take account of the challenges raised by COVID-19. An updated set of inspection handbooks with full details of these changes will be published after the Easter break. Ofsted is also working closely with Sir Kevan Collins on how its work can support the longer term education recovery.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said:

“Inspections play an important role. They look at the quality of education received by children, they provide information to parents and the government, and they help headteachers identify areas for improvement.”

“Our inspections this summer will recognise the current challenges facing schools and help support the catch up of all pupils. We will not grade schools before the autumn – unless we see significant improvement or we identify significant concerns. This continues our step-by-step approach towards a full programme of graded inspections in the autumn.”

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