About us

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


Ofsted aims to improve lives by raising standards in education and children’s social care. We inspect and regulate thousands of organisations and individuals providing education, training and care – from childminders to training providers, schools to local authorities – and we share what we find.

We report directly to Parliament, parents, carers and commissioners.

Who we are

We have around 1,800 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 2,000 Ofsted Inspectors to carry out inspections of schools and further education and skills provision. Our pen portraits contain biographical information about current Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs).

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

Inspecting

  • maintained schools and academies, some independent schools, colleges, apprenticeship providers, prison education and many other educational institutions and programmes outside of higher education
  • childcare, local authorities, adoption and fostering agencies, initial teacher training and teacher development

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

  • publishing reports of our findings so they can be used to improve the overall quality of education and training
  • informing policymakers about the effectiveness of these services

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

Our values

We put children and learners first, and we are independent, evidence-led, accountable and transparent.

Our priorities

Our 2022-27 strategy sets out our strategic priorities:

  • Inspections that raise standards: our inspections help education and social care recover and improve.
  • Right-touch regulation: our regulation advances high-quality care, education and safeguarding for children.
  • Making the most of our insights: we share insights through our research and analysis. Our insights inform practitioners, policymakers and decision-makers and lead to improvements across the system.
  • The best start in life: we will develop the evidence base about early years education, including curriculum and pedagogy, and act on it.
  • Keeping children safe: we promote children’s safety and welfare in everything we do.
  • Keeping pace with sector changes: we keep pace as the education and social care sectors evolve. We will continually review our approach and advocate for additional powers where required.
  • Accessible and engaged: we are open and accessible to our different audiences, understanding their needs.
  • A skilled workforce: we make sure we have the tools, knowledge and expertise we need to continue to be a force for improvement.

You can find out more about our priorities in the Ofsted 2022 to 2027 strategy.

Corporate information

Access our information

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Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information. Read our policy on Social media use.