Ofsted glossary for governors

Do you know your graded inspection from your ungraded inspection? There's a lot of jargon involved in the world of Ofsted. Read our definitions and download our handy download to get up to speed.

Last reviewed on 8 November 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 34771
  1. Key documents
  2. Inspectors' roles 
  3. Types of inspection
  4. Judgements
  5. Other inspectorates
  6. Downloadable version

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

Document that accompanies the education inspection framework, focusing on how the principles will apply when inspecting maintained schools and academies. It covers graded, ungraded and urgent 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 monitoring handbook

Document that sets out Ofsted's approach to monitoring schools with an overall effectiveness judgement of:

  • Inadequate in their most recent graded inspection (also known as a section 5 inspection)

  • Requires improvement in their 2 most recent graded inspections

It also sets out how inspectors will monitor schools to identify whether the school is making sufficient progress to improve.

Lead inspector One person is assigned to be a