Get involved

Listening to you

Ofsted engages in an important and continuing dialogue with its users, providers and stakeholders through our Involvement strategy.

We also listen to users, providers and stakeholders through:

The Ofsted survey programme

As well as our inspection and regulatory role, Ofsted carries out surveys which consider big issues. We publish reports of those surveys, which help us to share the good practice we find.

Ofsted gathers survey information mainly through visits to, or inspections of a range of schools, colleges or other providers such as childminders or children's homes.

Parents panel

Ofsted is committed to listening to public opinion, and in particular to listening to the experiences and views of users of the services we inspect and regulate. To help us, in 2009 we set up a panel of 1,650 parents and carers with children attending state schools, and/or using registered childcare in England, and we consult with them on a regular basis. Most of this consultation is in the form of online questionnaires.

Reader panels

Ofsted has commissioned a series of external reader panel reports, where groups of stakeholders and other users of our information are brought together to assess Ofsted reports for:

  • relevance
  • usefulness
  • layout and structure
  • comprehensibility
  • ease of use.

Consulting children

Ways we consult with children include:

  • discussion groups at child-friendly venues such as theme parks
  • invitation-only secure web surveys
  • surveys with question cards
  • electronic voting at planetaria or cinema venues
  • discussion groups at pizza evenings
  • annual national children's conferences at a children's venue
  • weekly questions to a mobile phone texting panel called BeHeard
  • visits to children's establishments.

Consulting learners

Ofsted has established links with a number of different national organisations who carry out consultation with learners. For instance, The Learner Panel, a national panel of thousands of learners over the age of 14, is an ideal way to access the views of users.

Further information

To mark National Takeover Day 2011 a team of six young inspectors were invited to Ofsted to meet with representatives of the Public Involvement Team and take over the running of the team for the day. For a summary of what happened on the day go to National Takeover Day 2011.

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