Summary of guidance on unannounced behaviour inspections published by Ofsted

Former HMI Elspeth Davis has written the following summary for the Learning Exchange of guidance on unannounced behaviour inspections published by Ofsted in February 2014  (Reference 140033)…


Ofsted has published new guidance for inspectors to take immediate effect.  An unannounced behaviour inspection can be triggered by concern from a previous inspection report, parent’s views, complaints, information from the local authority or data about exclusions or attendance.

Inspections will focus on pupils’ attitudes to learning and their conduct around the school, how well behaviour is managed and the extent to which the school culture supports good behaviour.  There will be approximately ten minutes notice of inspection.

Before the inspection the lead inspector will read the previous Section 5 report and any Section 8 reports, read and evaluate the school’s behaviour policy, which should be on the school’s website, identify if any pupils in alternative provision, analyse the most recent data about persistent absence and permanent and fixed-term exclusions in RAISEonline.


Inspectors can judge the behaviour and safety as outstandiing, good or requires improvement. If behaviour and safety is judged to be inadequate then this is likely to trigger a full inspection.


Evidence will be gathered through a range of activities including: observing short parts of lessons and informal times of the school day and any ‘internal exclusion room’;  discussions with a group of pupils the school has worked with to improve their behaviour; brief discussions with staff when appropriate throughout the school day; scrutiny of documentation when a senior member of staff should be with the inspector/s to answer questions.  There will be no joint observations. At the end of the inspection feedback will be given to the headteacher, a member of SLT and any governor/s who can be present.  If there are concerns, a member of the local authority should be invited.


After the inspection a short letter will be published which will appear on the Ofsted website.

See the Ofsted guidance at: Unannounced behaviour inspections: guidance for inspectors

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