Weak schools are to be inspected by the Office for Standards in Education more frequently than the current four-year cycle, Gillian Shephard, Education and Employment Secretary, announced this week.
Inspectors will return to schools identified as performing badly. However, most schools will in future be inspected only once every six years.
Inspection reports will also identify schools with serious weaknesses, as well as schools deemed to be failing to provide adequate education.
The new arrangements follow recommendations from Chris Woodhead, HM chief inspector of schools.