Dear Colleagues

Ofsted has published a document entitled Ofsted inspections - clarification for schools. This is a critically important document which the NASUWT has been instrumental in securing as a result of the representations it has made and the pressure it has exerted in the ongoing talks with the Department for Education.

The Ofsted Document provides clarification of what Ofsted requires or more importantly does not require in relation to:

  • lesson planning;
  • self-evaluation;
  • grading of lessons;
  • lesson observation;
  • pupils' work;
  • evidence for inspections.

The document dispels a number of myths which have been rife in schools and led to some schools 'gold plating' Ofsted requirements and putting intense pressure on teachers. It should provide important assistance to members in challenging poor practice in their schools.

The document can be found on the Ofsted website at and it is also on the NASUWT website at: However, given the importance of this document, we have also reproduced it below for your convenience.

The support of NASUWT members for the Union's ongoing trade dispute with the Secretary of State through the implementation of the national action instructions has been key to achieving this progress.

Please ensure that you use the Ofsted guidance to secure non-intensive workload practices in your school.

Many thanks
Best wishes.

Chris Keates (Ms)
General Secretary

The actual text of the Ofsted document is below:

Ofsted inspections - clarification for schools

The purpose of this document is to confirm facts about the requirements of Ofsted and to dispel myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in schools. It should be read alongside the 'School inspection handbook', which can be found here:

This document is intended to highlight specific practices that are not required by Ofsted. It is up to schools themselves to determine their practices and for leadership teams to justify these on their own merits rather than by reference to the inspection handbook.

Lesson planning

  • Ofsted does not require schools to provide individual lesson plans to inspectors. Equally, Ofsted does not require schools to provide previous lesson plans.
  • Ofsted does not specify how planning should be set out, the length of time it should take or the amount of detail it should contain. Inspectors are interested in the effectiveness of planning rather than the form it takes.


  • Ofsted does not require self-evaluation to be provided in a specific format.

Grading of lessons

  • Ofsted does not award a grade for the quality of teaching for any individual lessons visited and it does not grade individual lessons. It does not expect schools to use the Ofsted evaluation schedule to grade teaching or individual lessons.

Lesson observations

  • Ofsted does not require schools to undertake a specified amount of lesson observation.
  • Ofsted does not expect schools to provide specific details of the pay grade of individual teachers who are observed during inspection.

Pupils' work

  • Ofsted does not expect to see a particular frequency or quantity of work in pupils' books or folders. Ofsted recognises that the amount of work in books will often depend on the age and ability of the pupils.
  • Ofsted does not expect to see unnecessary or extensive written dialogue between teachers and pupils in exercise books and folders. Ofsted recognises the importance of different forms of feedback and inspectors will look at how these are used to promote learning.

Evidence for inspection

  • Ofsted does not expect schools to provide evidence for inspection beyond that set out in the inspection handbook.
  • Ofsted will take a range of evidence into account when making judgements, including published performance data, the school's in-year performance data and work in pupils' books and folders. However, unnecessary or extensive collections of marked pupils' work are not required for inspection.
  • Ofsted does not expect performance- and pupil-tracking data to be presented in a particular format. Such data should be provided to inspectors in the format that the school would ordinarily use to track and monitor the progress of pupils in that school.
  • Ofsted does not require teachers to undertake additional work or to ask pupils to undertake work specifically for the inspection.
  • Ofsted will usually expect to see evidence of the monitoring of teaching and learning and its link to teachers' performance management and the Teachers' Standards, but this should be the information that the school uses routinely and not additional evidence generated for inspection.
  • Ofsted does not require schools to provide evidence for each teacher for each of the bulleted sub-headings in the Teachers' Standards. Statutory provisions
  • Ofsted will report on any failure to comply with statutory arrangements, including those relating to the workforce, where these form part of the inspection framework and evaluation schedule (Part 2 of the 'School inspection handbook').

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.