About us

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

Ofsted is a non-ministerial department.

Every week, we carry out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits throughout England and publish the results online.

Our goal is to achieve excellence in education and skills for learners of all ages, and in the care of children and young people.

We report directly to Parliament and we are independent and impartial.

Who we are

We have around 1,500 employees across our 8 regions:

  • East Midlands
  • East of England
  • North East, Yorkshire and Humber
  • North West
  • South East
  • South West
  • West Midlands
  • London

We also directly contract with more than 1,500 Ofsted Inspectors to carry out inspections of schools and further education and skills provision.

Ofsted is a member of the National Preventive Mechanism, which monitors and reports on places of detention.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • inspecting maintained schools and academies, some independent schools, and many other educational institutions and programmes outside of higher education
  • inspecting childcare, adoption and fostering agencies and initial teacher training
  • publishing reports of our findings so they can be used to improve the overall quality of education and training
  • regulating a range of early years and children’s social care services, making sure they’re suitable for children and potentially vulnerable young people
  • reporting to policymakers on the effectiveness of these services

Our priorities

From May 2016 we will:

  • put in place our strategic plan to continue to raise standards and improve lives
  • use our new education inspection arrangements to ensure short inspections of good schools and further education providers are consistent, efficient and effective
  • use more good and outstanding sector professionals as part of inspection teams
  • review inspection for early years and social care
  • develop and implement our workforce strategy
  • focus inspection on services that are less than good or whose performance has slipped
  • focus on the performance of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable
  • identify and promote exceptional leadership in each of our inspection areas
  • identify and report on issues of concern in the sectors we inspect
  • promote the improvement of technical, vocational and further education
  • work with parents and carers, learners and employers to ensure their views inform inspections and they use and value our inspection reports
  • work with policy makers and influencers to ensure they understand our work and are able to promote it and our findings
  • work with those we inspect to ensure they find our inspection and regulatory work fair and credible and it helps them to improve