Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005.
It gives greater access to information held by all public organisations, and local and central government, including Ofsted, and lets you find out more about what they do, how they arrive at decisions and how they spend public money.
The Act gives any person the right to ask for official information from public authorities.
We must deal with any request for information which may be held in our records, and which is not released as part of our routine business, in accordance with the Act. You may request any information we hold, regardless of how old it is. Information requested must be provided to you if we hold it, unless one of the exemptions in the Act applies.
Our Freedom of Information - Ofsted Publication Scheme details the information we publish or must provide to the public on request. To make a request for other information, please see below.
Making a request
In order for your request to qualify under the Act, it must be made in writing. When you make your request, please provide your name, a means to contact you in writing (either your postal or email address), and details of the information you seek. A contact telephone number would also be helpful, in case we need to contact you to discuss your request. Please be as specific as possible about the information you are requesting. If your request is unclear or too general, we may need to contact you for further details, or may be unable to process your request.
Can I see all the information that Ofsted holds?
Some information may be subject to exemptions that are written into the Act. This includes information that is ‘reasonably accessible’ elsewhere: for example, within the Publication Scheme or on the Ofsted website. Some other examples of information that may be exempt are: information we intend to publish in the future (e.g. statistics); parts of school inspection evidence; personal data about other people; information we have obtained in confidence (e.g. from complainants); and information relating to regulatory enforcement action.
Will it cost anything?
There won’t be any charge for supplying information. However, if your request is for a large amount of information, or for information which is difficult to extract, and it will cost more than the limits set out in the Act to provide it, we can refuse the request. Where cost is an issue, we will contact you so you can choose whether you wish to modify your request.
How long will it take?
Usually our response to your request will be sent to you within 20 working days. It may take longer if we need to clarify your request or discuss cost with you, or if the information you have requested is exempt and we need more time to consider whether it is in the public interest to disclose it. If your request is delayed for any reason, we will keep you informed of how we are progressing and, as far as possible, give you an expected date for your response.
Who do I contact?
If you don’t already have the name of someone to contact at Ofsted, you can email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to:
Information Access Team
DirectGov provides further information on Freedom of Information across Government.