Frequency of Ofsted inspections
Find out how often Ofsted inspects schools and get an idea of when your next inspection will be.
- Ofsted will inspect all schools by August 2025
- Timings depend on your Ofsted grade and date of last inspection
- 'Outstanding' schools that were previously exempt
- 'Outstanding' special schools, PRUs, alternative provision academies and maintained nursery schools
- 'Good' schools
- Schools which 'require improvement'
- 'Inadequate' schools
- New schools
- How Ofsted decides who to inspect
- The difference between section 5 and section 8 inspections
- Further articles on inspection – checklist, questions and more
Ofsted will inspect all schools by August 2025
Beginning with summer 2021 inspections, all schools and colleges will now receive at least 1 inspection before 1 August 2025.
To make this happen, Ofsted will gradually increase the amount of inspections it carries out each year.
However, the acceleration of inspections won’t start until September 2022, as Ofsted has pretty much fixed its inspection schedule for this academic year.
Extended intervals for the first inspection after the COVID-19 hiatus are still in place
However, they'll vary depending on how long ago you were last inspected. This is because the intervals will gradually get shorter from September 2022.
Essentially, this means:
If you're an 'outstanding' school:
- You'll be inspected by 1 August 2025, rather than by 1 August 2026, as was previously planned (see the drop-down for this grade in the next section below)
Was last inspected in 2016/17, you're likely