On 17 March 2020, all routine Ofsted inspections were suspended. Ofsted continued their regulatory work during this time. As part of a phased return to routine inspection from autumn 2020, Ofsted are carrying out interim visits. These visits are not inspections and will not result in an inspection grade. Inspectors can use regulatory or enforcement actions, if appropriate.
The interim visits will take place between September and December 2020, after which routine inspections will resume under the Education Inspection Framework.
Ofsted will visit providers that are currently judged less than good and that had safeguarding and welfare actions raised at their last inspection. More information on the settings that will be selected can be found here.
When carrying out an interim visit to a provider, inspectors will not be checking whether they have met learning and development requirement actions set at the last inspection to allow providers time to get back to normal following the period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Until 25 September 2020, providers should use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to meet the requirements of section 1 of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) and section 2 of the EYFS is disapplied. More information on the EYFS disapplications can be found here. After 25 September 2020, providers must meet the learning and development requirements in full.
Ofsted will continue to monitor providers that received an inadequate (with enforcement) grade at their last inspection through their usual regulatory activity. In line with their usual process, they will publish an outcome summary. This is set out in the early years compliance handbook and Guidance on writing complaint and compliance action outcome summaries.
Further information on what happens before, during and after visits can be found here.