Periodically, a senior Ofsted officer will state that inspection has raised standards. The evidence for this is usually a string of statistics citing the number of schools that have moved from “inadequate”, or from “requires improvement” to “good” and from “good” to “outstanding”. The causal links are never really clarified and most people in schools ascribe the only link as fear. In fact, it is because Ofsted expects schools to act upon the inspection findings and build this expectation into their statistical findings. Here, Tony Powell, consulting educationist, explores how to use the inspection process and findings as a way of systematically improving your school.