GOV.UK Guidance: School inspection handbook for September 2023

School inspection handbook for September 2023

GOV.UK has released the 2023 Ofsted guidance for inspectors on how to carry out inspections for maintained schools and academies (England), which will come into force 1st September 2023.

Click here to access the guidance page on GOV.UK

The updates include clarification around the role of the Trust during inspection, how they will judge safeguarding and what they mean by ‘culture of safeguarding’. As well as:

  • A new ‘conduct during inspection’ section.
  • Confirmation of the likely date of the next inspection for schools.
  • How inspectors will protect anonymity of individuals when drawing on evidence.
  • Confirmation that evidence from pupils, parents and staff will always be considered in a proportionate way, alongside other evidence.
  • Updates to ‘behaviour’ and ‘attendance’ sections.
  • Clarity about what we mean by ‘capacity to improve’.
  • Clarity about what we mean by ‘culture of safeguarding’.
  • Clarification on schools’ obligations in relation to ‘separation by sex’ and the steps inspectors should take in relation to this.

Education inspection framework (EIF)

  • a section added on evaluating ‘culture of safeguarding’.
  • ‘Peer-on-peer’ reference replaced with ‘learner-on-learner’.
  • additional expectations for conduct during inspections.

In addition, the following have been updated for 2023:


Please contact us if  you have any questions about the above or if you would like to talk to us about how we can support you with your Safeguarding needs.

Call 01274 752299 or email

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Rachel Priestley

Rach has a background in Business Development and Administration, gaining much of her knowledge and experience through her 19 year career with the NHS working within the executive office, community services and public health. 

Before moving on from the NHS, Rach supported the Chief Executive, the Chairman and the Trust Board of a local NHS Care Trust, which managed Children’s Services. Her responsibilities spanned across HR, Finance, Governance, Compliance, Risk, systems and processes, and internal training. Rach also supported the Children’s Safeguarding Lead with safeguarding investigations.

In 2017, she left the NHS to pursue a successful self-employed career supporting business to grow, with flexible business development and administration support, which she continues to do on a part-time basis.

Rach is in house trained, and is passionate about delivering outstanding services and enjoys working as part of the safeguarding team to achieve a common goal.

In her own time, she loves spending time outside, and long walks with the two family dogs. 

Shelley Armstrong

Shelley joined Safeguarding Support in 2020 as an experienced AET-qualified freelance trainer, and now enjoys working across the business, keeping clients as up to date as possible with the ever changing challenges facing safeguarding children in education.

Whilst we aim to simplify safeguarding, Shelley’s passion is to ensure engagement, pride and confidence through training and support. Shelley enjoys applying the competencies gained in different industries and environments to researching, designing, and developing materials for those with the responsibility to safeguard children, and in return has enormous respect for their commitment.

Her experience across the private business sector brings commercial skills to training and her background in psychology and counselling ensure courses are designed and delivered with the learner in mind.

Shelley lives in Yorkshire and enjoys walking her springer spaniels – come rain or shine!

Abigail Havon

Abigail is an experienced AET qualified trainer who began her safeguarding career in the charity sector.  There she was a regional manager and part of the safeguarding leadership team.  She was involved in writing policies and procedures, developing, and delivering training and supporting staff and volunteers to work 121 with children struggling with their literacy. 

She has worked in a variety of business environments gaining experience in different sectors. She has always chosen roles that call for collaboration and communication to bring the best out in people and projects to completion.  Abigail passionately believes that empowering educators to work together as part of a safeguarding team will lead to better outcomes for children and young people. 

As part of the SSL training team her role focuses mainly on delivering virtual training. 

Abigail lives near the Jurassic Coast and enjoys long walks and caring for her jungle of houseplants.  

Carol Stephenson

Carol has spent her entire career teaching in Bradford primary schools. Most recently she was Head Teacher of a large, outstanding, multi-academy trust, inner-city
school where she gained Local Leaders of Education (LLE) status.

Carol is a highly experienced Designated Safeguarding Lead and safeguarding Governor, with an extensive range of expertise, skills and knowledge. It was through this depth of experience that she became a dedicated representative of Bradford Children’s Safeguarding Board. In June 2019, Carol was awarded a Bradford Safeguarding Champions lifetime achievement award 2019 for her continued work in safeguarding the children of Bradford.

Carol is in-house trained and is NSPCC certified to deliver Child Protection and Safeguarding training.

In her spare time, Carol enjoys working on her allotment.