Closed consultation

Ofsted Big Listen

Applies to England

We are analysing your feedback

Visit this page again soon to download the outcome to this public feedback.


The Ofsted Big Listen seeks views across our work, from schools and children’s social care to teacher training and early years.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Ofsted Big Listen

Thank you to everyone who shared their views. We will publish the outcome of the Big Listen in the autumn.

Ofsted Big Listen children’s survey

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Big Listen. We received thousands of responses from children and we think that’s fantastic. It will take us a little while to read them all but as soon as we have, we’ll let you know what everyone said and what we will do next.

Ofsted Big Listen: have your say on our work

Our ambition

Ofsted wants to improve.

Our ambition is to be a modern, world-class inspectorate and regulator. We want to be trusted by the parents, carers, children and learners we work for, and the professionals we work with. 

We start from the position that Ofsted aims always to be a force for good in this country, with the interests of children and learners as our priority. But we know we have work to do to achieve our ambition.

We know that most people agree that we play a vital role in holding to account those responsible for educating children and learners, keeping them safe and improving their lives.

But we know not everyone agrees. We know parents and carers believe we can do a better job of providing information about education providers and local areas. And we know that many of the professionals we work with believe we can improve how we work.

We agree with these challenges.

The last year has been a difficult one. We are launching the Big Listen at a time when Ofsted has – rightly – been under scrutiny following the tragic death of headteacher Ruth Perry last year.

Sir Martyn Oliver, and everyone at Ofsted, are determined that such tragedies should never happen again, and no one should feel as Ruth did. Our response to Ruth’s death and to the Coroner’s inquest set out urgent work we are undertaking.

But we know there is more to do to relieve the pressures felt by the professionals we inspect. The Big Listen will help us identify that work.

We are ambitious for Ofsted. We believe we can be world-class. But we can only achieve this ambition by scrutinising everything we do. We know this will mean hearing some difficult messages.

The Big Listen is the opportunity for you to help us improve. If your work, your children, your decisions, your education, or your care are affected by what we do, then we want to hear from you.

Our top priority

We will always put the interests of children and learners first. We work for them, and their parents and carers.

That is why we are so keen to hear from children, learners, parents and carers through the Big Listen.

It is our job to tell parents and carers what it is like to be a child or learner in the providers we inspect: the places where they learn and are cared for. We are tasked with providing an accurate picture of what it is like to be a child or learner in the education and care systems, nationally and locally.

That is why we praise those that deliver for children and learners and why we unapologetically highlight where children’s needs are not being met, especially when this negatively affects disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

We believe there is more we can do to highlight what it is like to be a child in this country, including how their experiences vary by location. And we can do more to highlight the experiences of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, because if you get it right for disadvantaged and vulnerable children, you get it right for all.

We know the vast majority of the professionals we work with agree. They understand the importance of accountability to ensure that children’s education, care and life chances are not compromised. They agree that particular focus is needed on the experiences of vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

We know, too, that many of these professionals believe we can improve how we work.

We agree. We are determined that we always work with professionalism, courtesy, empathy and respect, minimising undue pressure on those we work with. We are ready to hear feedback, accept criticism and reform.

How you can help

The Big Listen seeks views right across our work, from schools and children’s social care to teacher training and early years.

Across our work, we want to explore 4 areas:

  • reporting – how we report on our education and regulatory inspections
  • inspection practice – the shape of our education and regulatory inspections, our ways of working and the craft of inspecting
  • culture and purpose – the conduct of our inspections and the way we work
  • impact – the consequences of our inspections for children, professionals, institutions and parents’ choices

The Big Listen is structured to allow you to provide feedback on the areas of greatest interest and importance to you. You may only want to give us your views on schools. Or you might want to share views on how we report across further education and teacher training.

Whatever your focus, we have structured the Big Listen so you only need to comment on the things that matter to you.

Thank you for taking the time to help us improve and achieve our ambition of being a world-class inspectorate and regulator.


Updates to this page

Published 8 March 2024
Last updated 17 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. Added information about independent research survey's that we have commissioned IFF Research and the National Centre for Social Research to carry out.

  2. The Big Listen children's survey is now open.

  3. First published.

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