Need-to-know: School inspection handbook updated for January 2024

There aren't any new requirements for schools, but get up to speed on the changes and options available during an inspection.

Last reviewed on 22 January 2024
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Ofsted has updated the School Inspection Handbook, in response to the coroner's report following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. There are no new requirements for your school – most of the changes are clarifications, but we've summarised the key changes below.

During the initial call, the inspector will ask if your school needs to defer

Headteachers can request a deferral either during the initial phone call or at the first opportunity afterwards, before the start of the inspection.

As before, inspectors usually won't consider a deferral request made after 4.30pm on the day your school is notified.

You can find this in paragraphs 89, 100 and 101 of the inspection handbook.

Staff can bring colleagues with them to meetings with inspectors

Pre-inspection calls – ideally the deputy head, assistant head, or a member of trust staff who can understand

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