Evaluation of the impact of Section 5 inspections - strand 3: final report for Ofsted

Tami McCrone, Misia Coghlan, Pauline Wade, Peter Rudd

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In 2008-9 Ofsted commissioned the NFER to undertake research to build on the independent evaluation of the new inspection process for maintained schools in England, carried out in 2006-7. The main aims of the research were to provide a longitudinal perspective on the impact of inspection on school improvement and to explore perspectives related to the impact of the new Section 5 inspections upon teachers and support staff. The research methods used were case-study visits to 18 schools (including interviews with senior leadership teams, teachers and teaching assistants) previously visited as part of the original evaluation and a one-paged email survey completed by 126 schools.

Key findings
The importance of observations – classroom practitioners viewed observation, and feedback, as very significant in terms of satisfaction with the whole inspection process.

The importance of dialogue –successful dialogue was regarded by school staff as key to satisfaction with the process and outcome approval.

The significance of appropriate recommendations – recommendations that were more specific, provided focus, were regarded as actionable, were not open to misinterpretation, or provided a clear point of reference were generally regarded as more appropriate recommendations that would hold longitudinal value.

Maximum positive impact of recommendations –was generally perceived to have been achieved when the recommendations were viewed as appropriate (see above) and therefore actionable. There was substantial evidence that recommendations which were developmental in nature and over time, and were inclusive so that there was whole-school ownership achieved greatest impact.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSlough
PublisherNational Foundation for Educational Research
Commissioning bodyOfsted
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • School inspection, school improvement, impact of inspections, lesson observations, school leadership

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