How Ofsted inspects 'personal development'

Learn how Ofsted inspects 'personal development' under the inspection framework, including how spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is considered.

Last reviewed on 28 March 2023
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 36193
  1. What inspectors are looking for
  2. Relationships and sex education (RSE)
  3. Evidence inspectors will use
  4. How they'll gather evidence
  5. Grade descriptors

What inspectors are looking for

They won't try to measure the impact of your school's personal development provision on individual pupils, as leaders often can't assess this while a pupil is at the school.

Inspectors will check school leaders are, for example:

  • Developing responsible, respectful and active citizens, with an understanding of fundamental British values and the confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy
  • Promoting equality of opportunity and an inclusive environment
  • Enabling/supporting pupils to recognise online and offline risks to their wellbeing, and their readiness for the next phase of education, training or employment 
  • Providing an effective careers programme in line with the government’s statutory guidance on careers advice

For more information on what inspectors are looking for, see paragraphs 313 to 316 of the School Inspection Handbook 2023.

This covers a variety of aspects, such as the knowledge and respect of different faiths, ability to