Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)

What is Ofsted?


Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It reports directly to Parliament and it is independent and impartial. It inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

Their specialist inspectors are experts in the type of service they inspect. When they carry out an inspection, be it of a school, a children’s home, a nursery or a college, they focus on the quality of the service for individual children, young people or older learners. During an inspection, inspectors collect first-hand evidence based on the practice they observe and what they learn from the people using the service. They use this evidence and other information available to make their professional judgements which we publish in inspection reports.

They inspect the following services including: maintained schools and academies; some independent schools; early years and childcare; children’s centres; children’s homes; family centres; adoption and fostering services and agencies; Cafcass; children’s services in local authorities; initial teacher training;

Recently a new inspection framework has been passed through parliament and it streamlines the Inspection process and gives more scrutiny to the quality of teaching. It emphasises four areas, -pupil achievement, teaching standards, behaviour and school leadership.

Parents will also be able to comment on their children's schools through an Ofsted website, ParentView

School inspections take about two days and are carried out at short notice. Using the school's own self-assessment study as a starting point, inspectors draw up a report classing each institution as :

  • grade 1 (outstanding)
  • grade 2 (good)
  • grade 3 (requires improvement)
  • grade 4 (inadequate).
  • .
After the report has been published Schools must respond setting out how they will improve on the report's criticisms. The highest rated schools - in the "outstanding" category - will no longer face routine inspections, and will only be visited if results decline or parental concerns prompt an inspection. The next category of "good" schools will face inspections at least every five years, "satisfactory" schools will be inspected at least every three years and "inadequate" schools will be more closely monitored, with a re-inspection likely within a year. To look for you local schools inspection report, please visit the Ofsted site by clicking on the following link:
School Inspection Reports
Ofsted's Data View to compare local provision against regional and national examples
Ofsted's Parents View find out what the parents of pupils think about the school