There are four key areas to be judged when a school is inspected, plus one for overall effectiveness:

  • overall effectiveness of leadership and management
  • quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • outcomes for children and learners

Grade 1: Outstanding

An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs. This ensures that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Grade 2: Good

A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all its pupils' needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Grade 3: Requires improvement

A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months from the date of this inspection.

Grade 4 Inadequate

A school is judged to have serious weaknesses if one or more of the key judgements is inadequate (grade 4) and/or there are important weaknesses in the provision for pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. However, normally, leadership and management are judged to be Grade 3 or better because they have shown the capacity to improve. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors and will normally be re-inspected within 18 months.

Special Measures

A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school's leaders, managers or governors have not shown that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors before a re-inspection.

The Virtual School believes that children in care should, wherever possible, be placed in schools judged to be Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.