Ofsted 'summary evaluations' of trusts: explainer

Summary evaluations are Ofsted's approach to gathering findings about a multi-academy trust. Find out what happens at each stage of the process, what Ofsted will expect and what it's likely to consider.

Last reviewed on 28 March 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. Summary evaluations: in a nutshell
  2. Summary evaluations aren't just for trusts that cause concern
  3. Stage 1: batched inspections
  4. Stage 2: the summary evaluation
  5. Areas inspectors will explore
  6. Outcomes of the summary evaluation

Summary evaluations: in a nutshell

Summary evaluations are how Ofsted evaluates the quality of education provided by a trust, and leaders’ contributions to this. There are 2 stages to the process:

  1. Batched inspections: Ofsted carries out normal inspections in a number of a trust's academies, usually over a period of up to 2 terms
  2. Summary evaluation: over a week inspectors meet trust leaders and discuss the findings of the individual inspections and the overall educational quality across the trust
    • Inspectors will also meet trustees

Summary evaluations aren't entirely new – they're similar to what Ofsted used to call 'focused reviews'. 

Ofsted has been clear that summary evaluations are not the same as inspections, and they're carried out with the consent and co-operation of the trust. Ofsted describes them as a way to:

If your trust isn't willing to engage