Ofsted Inspection Framework

This chapter was added in January 2024.

Local authority children’s service sets out Ofsted's framework and guidance for inspecting local authority services for children (ILACS) in need of help and protection, children in care and care leavers.

This includes:

  • Ofsted’s framework for the inspection of local authority children’s services;
  • Guidance for local authorities on sharing information with Ofsted on an inspection;
  • Guidance for local authorities on providing child level data for the inspection;
  • ‘Talking to…’ information for children and young people and their parents/carers that explains why inspectors want to speak with them and what they do with the things they tell them.

More information on the work of Ofsted can be found in Inspection of Children's Social Care Providers – which includes details of Ofsted’s own policies, consultations, improvement notices and research and statistics arising from their inspections.

Local authority interactive tool (LAIT) is an interactive spreadsheet for comparing data about children and young people across all local authorities in England.

You can also search for Ofsted inspection reports in England

There may be children in your care who are in other placements which are also inspected by Ofsted. For each of these there will be evaluation criteria that sets out the expectations of how children will be cared for and their needs met.

Social care services that Ofsted registers and inspects

Adoption support agencies

Children’s homes

Secure children’s homes

Independent fostering agencies

Residential family centres

Residential holiday schemes for disabled children

Voluntary adoption agencies

Supported Accommodation

See also Disclosure and Barring Service: guidance for children's social care providers and managers - Inspectors will consider how safely these services manage DBS checks and certificates as part of their assessment of the recruitment and retention of anyone engaged to work at an establishment or for an agency. Note:- local authority adoption and fostering services are also covered by this guidance as a good practice guide.

Social care services that Ofsted inspects

Boarding schools and residential special schools

Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Further education colleges

Secure training centres