Schools: For Schools

Understanding a school inspection report

A school inspection report has information about the school that the inspectors gathered during the inspection.

There are different types of inspections and so what is in the report and how long it is will depend on the type of inspection the school has received.

We inspect schools regularly and a school will usually have one main inspection every few years. The report from such an inspection will tell the reader all about the school, so, for example, it could help a parent or carer decide if they want to send their child to the school.

The report will have information such as:

  • a description of the school
  • the inspection’s findings
  • overall judgement grades for how good a school is at particular aspects
    • grade 1 (outstanding)
    • grade 2 (good)
    • grade 3 (requires improvement)
    • grade 4 (inadequate).

What the inspection’s findings will tell you about the school will depend on whether the inspection is of a maintained or independent school.

School inspection findings include:

  • how good the school is and the things it needs to do to improve
  • how well pupils are doing
  • how well pupils are taught
  • how effective leadership and management in the school is
  • what parents and carers think about the school
  • childcare and boarding (where appropriate)
  • compliance with regulations and statutory responsibilities (where appropriate).

If a school is judged as ‘requires improvement’ or is judged ‘inadequate’ and has serious weaknesses or requires special measures

If a school is judged as ‘requires improvement’ or is judged ‘inadequate’ and has serious weaknesses or requires special measures, the report will explain why. We will monitor schools judged as ‘requires improvement’; we will also carry out monitoring inspections of schools which have serious weaknesses or require special measures. These inspections will also have reports, but they will be shorter and just be about how the school is progressing.

For further information about inspections, go to the Inspection schools pages on the left.

Annual Report 2012/13