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Last reviewed on 9 August 2021
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Ofsted will restart routine inspections in autumn 2021. Here's what happens before, during and after a section 8 inspection, and what inspectors will be looking for when they visit your schools.

Extended timings for the first inspection following COVID-19

Due to a backlog of inspections caused by coronavirus, Ofsted has extended its inspection intervals for the first inspection after the pandemic.

Normally, your schools would receive an inspection under section 8 approximately every 4 years - but this period will be extended by up to 6 terms for the first inspection after the pandemic.

For subsequent inspections, if your schools continue to be 'good' or 'outstanding', they'll receive a section 8 inspection approximately 4 years later.

Read more about Ofsted changes for September 2021.

How formerly exempt 'outstanding' schools are inspected

Following the removal of the 'outstanding' exemption, Ofsted will begin carrying out inspections of 'outstanding' schools when routine inspections restart in autumn 2021.

A school will now receive a section 8 inspection before 1 August 2026 if:

(If your school was last inspected under section

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