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Ofsted inspector

Ofsted inspectors report on the quality of places of education and learning.
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What does an Ofsted inspector do?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Their inspectors visit all places of education and learning, and all kinds of children’s services. They report on the quality of the provision they find.

Ofsted inspectors take lead and team inspector roles. They would work in one of these areas:

  • schools
  • further education and skills
  • children and families services
  • early years and childcare

In all roles they would:

  • get ready for inspections by reading pre-inspection briefings
  • talk to staff about previous development plans and progress made
  • find out the views of other professionals, children and parents
  • observe and rate teaching or care provision against national standards
  • check the welfare and development of the children
  • record what you see and hear
  • give information and evidence to team meetings
  • produce detailed written reports
  • give feedback to the education or children’s service provider

In addition, for a range of early years and children’s social care services, this role may act as a regulator, checking that people, premises and the services provided are suitable to care for children and possibly vulnerable young people.


What do I need to do to become an Ofsted inspector?

To be employed as an Ofsted inspector, you would need to have:

  • a degree in a relevant subject, such as education, childcare or social work
  • a minimum of five years’ experience of leadership, for example as a head teacher or senior manager in children’s services
  • a track record of improving standards and service provision
  • up-to-date knowledge of the demands of the job, including recent developments and statutory requirement

There are also nationality requirements and you would need to have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.


Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Essential qualifications

  • A degree in a relevant subject such as education, childcare or social work

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You would usually be based at home, but would travel to inspect education or social care services. Inspections would usually be allocated within a reasonable travelling distance but you may have to spend at least one night away from home during an inspection.

You could be employed directly by Ofsted as Her Majesty’s Inspector (HMI), or work as an additional inspector (AI) on contract to Ofsted from one of the regional inspection service providers. AIs are self-employed.


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