The three new publications are: Handbook for Inspecting Nursery and Primary Schools; Handbook for Inspecting Secondary Schools; and Handbook for Inspecting Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units.
The chief inspector of schools, David Bell, said: 'The new inspection framework and handbooks will promote a rigorous and intelligent approach to inspection.
'The new handbooks strengthen the emphasis of inspection on leadership and management, which are vital to school improvement, and include extensive new benchmarks to help ensure the consistency and accuracy of judgements.
'School self-evaluation will play a stronger part in inspection and will help to shape the inspection of an individual school.
'By giving prominence to the characteristics of very effective schools and showing what to avoid, the new handbooks should be as indispensable to those who lead schools as those who evaluate them.
'The new arrangements for school inspection will also further reduce the burden of bureaucracy on schools.'
Handbook for Inspecting Nursery and Primary Schools, reference HMI 1359
Handbook for Inspecting Secondary Schools, reference HMI 1360
Handbook for Inspecting Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units, reference HMI 1361
The new framework Inspecting Schools, also published on 30 May supersedes an advanced dr aft published in electronic format on 31 January 2003. The framework, Inspecting Schools, reference HMI 1525, is being sent to all schools.
Ofsted is a non-ministerial government department established under the Education (Schools) Act 1992 to take responsibility for the inspection of all schools in England.
Its role also includes the inspection of local education authorities, teacher training institutions and youth work. During 2001, Ofsted became responsible for inspecting all 16 to19 year old education and for the regulation of early years childcare, including childminders.