The current Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) came into being on 1 April 2007 and brought together the wide experience of four formerly separate inspectorates:

  • the previous Ofsted
  • the children's social care remit of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI)
  • the inspection work of the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI)
  • the inspection remit of Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Court Administration (HMICA).

Ofsted inspects and regulates care for children and young people. It also inspects education and training for learners of all ages. Ofsted is a non-ministerial government department.

Initially known for its role in inspecting state schools, Ofsted also includes the inspection of further education, local authority children's services, teacher training institutions and some independent schools. During 2001, Ofsted became responsible for inspecting all 16-to-19 education and for regulating Early Years childcare, including childminders.

Visit the Ofsted website for further information.