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What are Ofsted looking for in the new Personal Development section of their Inspection Framework?

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Ofsted’s updated inspection framework has now been published, with the inclusion of a new section for assessment: Personal Development. Below is a summary of the key points from this section to support you to ensure you’re providing your students with excellent personal development provision, and meeting Ofsted’s requirements.

“The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life.”

Ofsted recognise that children are influenced by many factors outside of the school’s control, and whilst schools can teach pupils how to build their confidence and resilience, they cannot always determine how well young people draw on this. With this in mind, inspectors are evaluating the provision on offer at a school, rather than the impact of this provision on individual students.

The areas of personal development that Ofsted are particularly looking for include the following:

  • developing responsible, respectful and active citizens

  • promoting equality of opportunity

  • promoting an inclusive environment

  • developing pupils’ character, giving them qualities they need to flourish in society

  • developing pupils’ confidence and resilience so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy

  • preparing pupils for the next phase of education

In terms of evidence, inspectors will be looking for:

  • the range, quality and take-up of extracurricular activities

  • how the education provided develops pupils’ character

  • how curriculum subjects contribute to pupils’ personal development

  • the quality of careers information and guidance

For personal development to be judged as good, inspectors will be looking for:

  • A curriculum which extends beyond the academic, providing for pupils’ broader development

  • The curriculum and wider work of the school supports pupils to be confident, resilient and independent

  • There is high-quality pastoral support within the school

  • Pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain, and understand how to be responsible, active citizens that contribute positively to society

  • Effective promotion of equality and diversity within the school

  • Students are prepared for future success in education, employment or training

To demonstrate outstanding personal development, schools must give pupils access to a wide, rich set of experiences in a coherently planned way. Opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests are of exceptional quality, and there is strong take-up by pupils. In particular disadvantaged pupils benefit from this support and provision.

You can read the full new Ofsted inspection framework here.


To find out more about our personal development programmes and how we can support your students, please contact our Director of Partnerships, Kat Luckock at

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