Updated for Sept 21 – A Visual Guide to the OfSTED grade descriptors

I’ve updated my visual guide to the OfSTED grade descriptors in line with the September 2021 publication. You can download them below free of charge, but if you would have been prepared to pay for this unique resource, please consider making a small donation to The David Nott Foundation (via my Just Giving page) to add a little bit more humanity to the world.


Back in 2019 when the new OfSTED framework came out, I produced some visual versions of the grade descriptors, for the following reasons:

  1. For those of us who like documents to be more visual, and who use shapes and colours to help us take in information, you should find these grade descriptors much easier to read than the way they are currently laid out in the OfSTED handbook.
  2. This “mind map” style representation would make a really great display in the staff room/training room as part of CPD. It would even be possible to add Post-it notes, documents and photos to it, to build up a picture of how your school meets the criteria (both formal and non-formal observations). Used in this way, I would encourage anybody to add to it – teaching staff, lunchtime staff, governors, visitors – as well as SLT.
  3. It’s a really useful tool for when you are doing a book scrutiny or learning walk, or as a quick reference guide for leadership conversations.

To find out more about how the Visual Guide is designed to work, please read this post.

Click here to download the Primary version of the Visual Guide to the New OFSTED Framework

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