Maintaining Standards in School

How the office for standards in Education (OFSTED) works?

The office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) is a government agency, headed by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools. It inspects and reports on English local education authorities (LEAs) and LEA-maintained schools, sixth form colleges and other education for 16-19 year olds, as well as teacher-training institutions and early year child care, including child minders. It also inspects independent schools when they apply for registration or there is concern about standards. The equivalent body in Wales is Estyn, the office of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for education and Training in Wales.

OFSTED Inspections

OFSTED is responsible for inspecting state schools every six years. Schools thought to be doing well may have only a short inspection; others need a full inspection of all national curriculum subjects and other aspects of the school’s life.  The inspection teams report on the quality of the work produced by the schools, the educational standards achieved whether financial resources made available to the school are well managed and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school. 

Before an inspection

Before an inspection the school has to arrange a meeting between the inspector and the parents of the children at the school so that the inspectors can hear the parents’ views. School governors and staff, including the head, cannot attend the meeting unless they have a child at the school. Parents may also be sent a questionnaire and the result of this will be included in the inspectors’ report.

After an inspection

The inspector meets the governors to discuss their findings after the inspection is over. Within six weeks, the inspectors must send a written report and summary to the governing body, the LEA and OFSTED.

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For more information on:

  • What the governors must do
  • Schools with problems
  • What parents can do