Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) is responsible for the regular inspection and regulation of services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Currently schools are informed that they will be inspected at lunchtime the day before the inspection begins.
The inspection of a school provides an independent external evaluation of its effectiveness and a diagnosis of what it should do to improve. Judgements are based on a range of evidence available to inspectors that is evaluated against a national framework.
Inspectors must cover, in particular:
* the achievement of pupils at the school
* the quality of teaching in the school
* the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school
* the quality of leadership in, and management of, the school.
When reporting, they must also consider:
* the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school
* the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the range of pupils at the school, and in particular the needs of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs.
Schools are graded as: outstanding, good, requires improvement, with serious weaknesses or requiring special measures.
At our last inspection in October 2013 we were graded as being good with outstanding features.
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