This snapshot, taken on
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.

Website help

Why have links from my website or PC to Ofsted inspection reports, web pages or publications stopped working?

How do I get the best out of the search tool on this website?


Q. Why have links from my website or PC to Ofsted inspection reports, web pages or publications stopped working?

A. We upgraded our site in September 2008. It is faster with a better search tool and user-friendly page addresses (Unique Resource Locators, or URN). It’s an immediate improvement and will make it easer for us develop the site. But some old links need to be re-saved. We told as many people as we could, especially service providers, and we’re sorry you didn’t get to hear about it. Use the improved search facility to find the URN again and update the links saved on your PC or website.



Q. How do I get the best out of the search tool on this website?

A. The ‘search’ box at the top right of every website page is a very powerful way to find what you need. Used intuitively, it will usually find what you need first time. But the following may help if you are having difficulty and need to refine your search:

  • The search finds individual inspection reports from the setting name or Unique Reference Number. But it is important to know that the Advanced Search (see below) does not. The Inspection Reports search tool (follow ‘Inspection Reports’ above) is the best way to find these if you are having trouble.
  • Basic and advanced searches look at publication titles and summaries from web pages, but they don’t scan through the full content of Word or PDF files.
  • Searching for one or more key words will find items containing some or all of the words you used. The results ‘score’ shows what percentage of your key words appear in each item. The items with the highest score appear at the top of the list.
    • Searching for two words, eg: [history curriculum] finds items containing either word.
    • Searching for three or four words, eg: [history curriculum girls primary] finds items containing at least two of these words (so history and girls, curriculum and girls, history and curriculum).
    • Searching for more than four words find items containing 30% of the words you searched for.
  • Placing a plus (+) sign between the words will find items containing them all. So [history+curriculum+girls+primary] will find items containing all these words.
  • Putting the words together in “quotation marks” finds only items where the words appear together. So searching for “history curriculum” will only find that exact phrase.
  • You can Exclude certain words by preceding them by a minus (-) sign. So searching for history -curriculum will only find items containing ‘history’ if the word ‘curriculum’ does not appear anywhere in that item.


Advanced Search

To access the advanced search you need to have at least one result from the basic search, and need to ‘view the full list’ to reach it. It can help you narrow your search to a Type of item (eg: publications, guidance, news releases, job vacancies). Remember:

  • The advanced search does not find individual inspection reports. Go to ‘inspection reports’ or key the setting name or URN into to the basic search box to find these.
  • The advanced search to ‘Search all the words’ is the same as using the plus sign within the basic search, described above.
  • The advanced option to ‘Search for the exact phrase’ is the same as placing words in “quotation marks” within the basic search, described above.