How Ofsted inspects governance

Learn how Ofsted inspects governance under the inspection framework, and what your role is on inspection day.

Last reviewed on 23 August 2023
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 35415
  1. Governance is inspected as part of ‘leadership and management’
  2. What inspectors are looking for
  3. Evidence inspectors will use
  4. Governors’ role on inspection day
  5. How governance is inspected if you’re in a MAT
  6. Grade descriptors

Governance is inspected as part of ‘leadership and management’

Ofsted inspectors assess governance as part of the overall judgement on ‘leadership and management’. There isn’t a separate judgement or grading for governance.

What inspectors are looking for

Ofsted looks at how well those “responsible for governance”:

  • Understand their role and carry it out effectively
  • Make sure the school has a clear vision, ethos, and strategic direction
  • Make sure resources are well managed
  • Hold executive leaders (the headteacher or CEO, for example) to account for educational performance 
  • Hold leaders to account for the quality of education or training
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school
  • Make sure the school fulfils its statutory duties (like the ones placed on schools by the Equality Act 2010, the 'Prevent' strategy or Keeping Children Safe in Education)
  • Exercise strategic oversight of all aspects of safeguarding
  • Promote the welfare of learners
  • Make sure that the education the school provides has a positive impact on all its pupils