Skip to content ↓


Reading Ofsted reports is likely to be one of the first things you do when you’re choosing a school for your child, but what do the inspections actually involve?

Regular inspections are an important part of making sure that schools are providing children with a good education – and as a parent, the reports can be a vital source of information about your child’s school. All state schools are inspected by Ofsted, but what actually happens when the inspectors visit?

On the 26th and 27th of September 2023, Co-op Academy Woodlands was inspected by Ofsted.

The inspectors concluded that Co-op Academy Woodlands is GOOD in all areas (Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership and Management and Early Years Provision), resulting in an Overall Effectiveness of GOOD for the school.


Which schools are inspected by Ofsted?

Ofsted inspects all state-funded schools in England, and around half of independent schools, in line with the relevant inspection framework. It also inspects other services, including childcare, social care and further education

How often are schools inspected?

A school judged good or outstanding at its most recent inspection will normally receive an inspection approximately every 4 years, to confirm that the school remains good or outstanding.

Schools that have an Inadequate or Requires Improvement judgement are inspected more often, with inspectors monitoring their progress on a regular basis.

How much notice do schools get?

Normally, schools get half a day’s notice of a full inspection, but Ofsted has the power to go into schools without any notice if it considers it necessary. This could be if they have received concerns about a school, possibly from a parent.

What happens during an inspection?

Usually, inspections last for two days. The number of inspectors varies depending on the size and type of a school, but the team will include His Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and/or contracted Ofsted inspectors – normally practising headteachers and deputy heads.

Before the inspection, the inspectors gather information about the school by reading the previous Ofsted report, reports of any interim monitoring, any complaints that have been raised about the school, academic data, information about funding, and information from the school’s website. They also send a letter to parents inviting them to share their opinions about the school on Ofsted’s Parent View website.

‘During the inspection, inspectors will observe lessons, check records and gather a range of evidence to inform their judgements, including speaking to staff, governors, pupils and parents and scrutinising pupils’ work,’ Sean explains. ‘Through these activities we are able to build a clear picture of what life is like at the school and how well pupils are learning.’ The main focus is on teaching and learning; inspectors will sit in on lessons, look through children’s books and folder and talk to them about not just their understanding, but also how engaged they are in their learning.

What are the inspectors looking at?

Ofsted inspectors look at four main areas: pupils’ achievement; the quality of teaching; the behaviour and safety of pupils; and the quality of leadership and management. They’ll also make a judgement on Early Years provision. ‘From this, inspectors make a judgement on the overall effectiveness of the school,’ Sean explains.

How quickly do schools get the results?

Most schools get a draft copy of the report soon after the inspection. ‘This is an opportunity for them to check it for factual accuracy and make any comments before it’s published,’ Sean says. The final report is then usually sent to the school within 10 days, and published on Ofsted’s website within 15 days, although if a school is judged Inadequate, this can take up to 28 days to allow extra moderation.

What are the possible outcomes?

Schools receive a judgement for each of the four inspection areas, and an overall judgement. There are four categories: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement (previously Satisfactory) and Inadequate.

You can download a copy of our Ofsted report here.

Parent View

Parent View is an online questionnaire that allows parents and carers to give their views about their child’s school, at any time to Ofsted.

If you’d like to Ofsted know what you think of Co-op Academy Woodlands go to:

If you have an urgent problem, please let us know straight away. You can tell your child’s class teacher, the main office or call. Contact details available on the contact page.