Ungraded inspections for 'good' and 'outstanding' schools

Find out what happens during an ungraded inspection (previously called a section 8 inspection) under the 2019 Ofsted framework, and what your role is as a governor.

Last reviewed on 8 March 2024See updates
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  1. Ofsted has committed to inspecting all schools by 2025
  2. How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected
  3. How 'good' and other 'outstanding' schools are inspected
  4. Your role during inspection
  5. Before inspection
  6. During inspection
  7. Results

Ofsted has committed to inspecting all schools by 2025

To inspect all schools between May 2021 and July 2025, Ofsted will:

  • Inspect 'outstanding' schools – find out more in the section below
  • For subsequent inspections, return to inspecting schools around every 4 years

This is explained in paragraphs 36 and 37 of the School Inspection Handbook.

How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected

Following the removal of the 'outstanding' exemption, all formerly exempt schools will now be inspected before September 2025.

Whether this inspection is graded or ungraded depends on when your last graded inspection (formerly known as a section 5) took place:

If an initial ungraded inspection indicates that your school may no longer be 'outstanding', Ofsted will normally carry out a graded inspection within the next 12 months,

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