Last reviewed on 18 November 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 34771

Do you know your section 8 from your section 48? There's a lot of jargon involved in the world of school inspection. Read our definitions and download our handy KeyDoc to get up to speed.

Key documents

The education inspection framework (EIF)

Document that sets out the overarching principles that Ofsted inspectors apply to their inspections for all school types. It includes the categories that inspectors will judge schools against.

The school inspection handbook (section 5)

Document that accompanies the education inspection framework, focusing on how the principles will apply when inspecting maintained schools and academies.

It explains the main activities that inspectors must do during full section 5 inspections, and tells schools how inspectors will arrive at their judgements. If you read this document, you'll know exactly what to expect on the day.

The school inspection handbook (section 8)

The same as the section 5 handbook, but for section 8 inspections and monitoring inspections (we cover these later). 

Lead inspector One person is assigned to be a 'lead' inspector on every inspection. The lead inspector will be the main point of contact throughout the inspection, co-ordinate the team of inspectors, and write the inspection