On the 19th of April, Ofsted published a raft of updates to their EIF handbooks and guidance to take account of the challenges raised by COVID-19.

Ofsted have piloted changes to current methods and, following extensive discussion with government and stakeholders, they have set out their inspection plans across all of their remits for the remainder of the academic year.

Below we provide a quick snapshot of what documents Ofsted have updated, what the broad areas of change are and what schools can do next to learn more.

What have Ofsted published?

Ofsted have released updated guidance in relation to:

  • Education inspection framework (EIF)
  • School inspection handbook
  • Early years inspection handbook
  • Section 8 school inspection handbook
  • Independent schools inspection handbook
  • Further education and skills inspection handbook
  • Inspecting schools: guide for maintained and academy schools
  • Selecting new schools and schools that undergo significant change for inspection

Why have Ofsted published these updates?

Ofsted intend to carry out inspections across different remits in varying forms starting from the 4th May.

For instance, for maintained schools and academies, Ofsted state that “some inspections under the EIF will restart and will take place on site. These include section 8 monitoring inspections of schools graded ‘inadequate’, and those graded ‘requires improvement’ at their last 2 consecutive full inspections.”

They will also inspect ‘good’ schools that, due to the pandemic, have not had an inspection within the statutory 5-year window and ‘outstanding’ schools will also be able to request an inspection.

On-site EIF inspections of registered early years providers will also begin and inspections of non-association independent schools will continue to take place as commissioned by the DfE, although between 4th May and the summer half term, standard inspections will only be commissioned in exceptional circumstances.

Further information on inspection plans for different providers can be found here.

What changes have been made?

The core changes Ofsted have made are to reflect the disruption caused by COVID-19.


Book onto our 'Understanding the Changes to the Ofsted School Inspection Handbooks' webinar today:

Primary: Click Here to Book

Secondary: Click Here to Book

Independent: Click Here to Book