The main functions of Ofsted include inspecting and regulating schools and childcare facilities in England. Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It is a government agency that reports directly to Parliament. The Childcare Act of 2006 is the standard by which the inspectors judge a provision. They perform weekly inspections. Interested persons can view the reports online. In addition, Ofsted provides surveys to improve educational services.
They investigate existing schools and academies, some independent schools, early childhood care centers, children’s homes/centers, adoption and foster care homes, Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services), student teacher’s training, college level:14 to 19 provision, probation services and prison education and training services. Different types of schools have their own required standards called frameworks. Most inspections include providing a safe place for a child to learn and play.
Inspections from established childcare facilities are because of complaints that the agency has received. If a facility has registered with Ofsted, then the childcare center can expect random inspections. These will occur with little or no warning. They check to see that the areas are safe and suitable for young children and young people. They either license the center or revoke it. Inspections can take up to half a day. At the end of the inspection, the caregiver will know exactly how she stands. Ofsted publishes its report on its website. Reasons for not passing an inspection include not paying the annual fee, not adhering to a known condition, or not meeting the requirements for registration.
Ofsted helps those interested in adopting children, as well as the children themselves. They even help 18-year-olds find their biological parents. They provide safe houses for children under 18. Ofsted also finds foster families and helps them to adapt to each other. They provide short-term housing for families facing difficulties at a residential family center.
Ofsted also inspects many adult and community learning centers. Teacher training centers, prison schools, special education schools for students over 16, work-based learning are some of the community services that Ofsted regulates. When inspectors observe an adult school or facility, their main concern is the teacher and how well and how much the students are learning.
All survey reports appear in Ofsted’s Annual Report. The information comes from visits to the children’s homes, adoption agencies, and schools. The researcher gathers the data from caregivers, students, staff and parents. The agency shares its data at conferences, online and in talks and articles. They hope that the data will help participating schools improve.