This memorandum of understanding outlines the ways in which the Department for Education and the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) will cooperate to facilitate the discharge of the Secretary of State for Education’s functions and the Department’s wider responsibilities with regard to secure children’s homes, so that they offer safe, good quality care to children.

The Department is responsible for Government policy concerning secure children’s homes and for coordinating the Secretary of State’s functions. The Department’s effective discharge of these functions depends on reliable information provided by suitably qualified and experienced professionals.

Visit the Ofsted website for more information


  • Introduction
  • The Chief Inspector’s legal obligations
  • Approval
  • Requests to detain children under 13 in secure children’s homes
  • Notifications
  • Support for the DfE capital programme
  • General advice and information
  • Review