Last reviewed on 31 January 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 36672

Curriculum is central to Ofsted's 2019 inspection framework. We summarise what you need to know about it in a single page, which you can download as a ready-made resource to share with colleagues.

What's meant by 'curriculum'

Under the 2019 framework, inspectors will judge your school’s ‘quality of education’ – this has replaced the old 'teaching, learning and assessment' and 'pupil outcomes' judgements. Ofsted is doing this because it wants to rely less on exam results as a measure of school quality, by taking a school's broader curriculum offering into account.

Ofsted has a working definition to help inspectors have the right conversations with schools about their curriculum, but it all boils down to:

  1. Intent: what you want pupils to know, and be able to do, by the time they leave your school (in other words, curriculum planning)
  2. Implementation: how the curriculum is being delivered 
  3. Impact: how the curriculum is making a difference

Statutory requirements

Though only maintained schools are statutorily required to follow it, many academies also do