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School inspection and review

CfBT is one of the world’s leading organisations offering consultancy to governments on school improvement through external inspection and other forms of review.

For almost 20 years, CfBT has worked all over the world on projects relating to school improvement through external inspection.

We conduct inspections of maintained schools and academies, independent schools, children’s centres and learning and skills providers on behalf of Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Independent and impartial, Ofsted inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages in England.

We have been providing services to Ofsted since its establishment in 1993 and, over the years, have successfully bid for additional contracts; in 2009 we were awarded a six-year contract that considerably expanded our responsibilities. Currently, we work with Ofsted to organise inspection throughout the north of England, including the major northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield. Find out more about our Inspection Services (opens in a new window).

School inspection in the Middle East

CfBT has a very substantial footprint relating to school inspection in the Middle East, and particularly the Gulf region. Since 2002 we have been heavily involved in work in the region related to supervision and inspection. We undertake major school inspection or evaluation support contracts across the region, our clients include:

  • Ministry of Education, UAE
  • Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi Education Council
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Education and Training, Bahrain
  • Ministry of Education, Kuwait.

Our consultancy work in the field of school improvement through evaluation is global in extent. We have worked recently in partnership with government agencies in countries as diverse as India, Thailand and Jamaica.

School review in India

On behalf of the state government of Andra Pradesh in India, and with UK government funding, we have developed an innovative school quality review methodology for government primary schools in Andhra Pradesh. See the Community-based accountability for school improvement report. We also work on behalf of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) reviewing school quality in some of the schools that follow the CBSE curriculum.

School review in Thailand

CfBT works in partnership with the government of Thailand on the review of private schools. Joint teams of international experts and Thai government inspectors undertake the reviews. We also provide training on inspection methods to Thai government inspectors.

School inspection in Jamaica

On behalf of the government of Jamaica – and with funding from the World Bank – we were commissioned to assist in the design of a new school inspection methodology for all the government schools of Jamaica. The work has involved training local inspectors and conducting pilot inspections as well as contributing to the design of a complete inspection methodology.

Training for inspectors and reviewers

Almost all of our consultancy relating to inspection has a training component. We have developed an accreditation system for school reviewers and inspectors that we adapt to meet local circumstances. This leads to the endorsement of individual inspector performance against the best internationally recognised standards


Our expertise in the field of inspection is evidence-based. Together with the National Foundation for Educational Research, we have published a review of inspection methodology in six high performing countries: England, Scotland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands, see the School inspection report.

We have also published a study of how authorities in 17 high-performing countries manage their inspection processes, see the School inspections what happens next? report.

Case studies

School inspection in Dubai

CfBT helped to design a new inspection framework and develop a new inspection agency in Dubai. CfBT continues to supply inspection teams to conduct these inspections and to support the agency in building local capacity.

School review in Bahrain

In 2010, CfBT designed frameworks and a methodology for the review of private schools and kindergartens in Bahrain. CfBT continues to train and accredit the staff of the Schools Review Unit.

School inspection in England

CfBT is a world authority on school inspection and is experienced in inspection both in England and on a global scale. CfBT Inspection Services carries out inspections on behalf of Ofsted in the north of England.

Latest research

Interesting cities

02 November 2015 | Dubai, England, USA, Vietnam

This important report considers education reform in five global cities: London, New York, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro and Ho Chi Minh City.

Language Trends 2014/15

18 March 2015 | England

The Language Trends survey, carried out in partnership between CfBT Education Trust and the British Council, charts the health of language teaching and learning in schools in England.

Action research at St Mark's Academy 2014

12 November 2014 | England

The fourth edition of action research at St Mark's Church of England Academy, this research report represents a significant contributor to the academy's improvement journey.

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Jelena Plantak

Education Services coordinator

Contact Jelena Plantak

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