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Ofsted inspector

Ofsted inspectors visit, inspect and report on the quality of places of education and learning, and children's social care services.

Annual Salary

£46,362 to £75,500

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 variable

You could work: evenings; away from home

Future employment

There will be 7% more Ofsted inspector jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You'll be employed directly by Ofsted as an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector, or regulatory inspector. You could also work as an Ofsted inspector (OI) on contract to Ofsted. OIs do not carry out the regulatory work or the full role of an HMI.

As an HMI, you'll take lead inspector and team inspector roles. You'll work in one or more of these areas:

  • schools
  • further education and skills
  • children and families services
  • early years and childcare

Ofsted also employs regulatory inspectors across early years and children’s social care services. They check that people, premises and services are suitable to care for children and vulnerable young people.

In all roles, you'll:

  • get organised for inspections by reading briefings
  • talk to staff about previous development plans and progress made
  • find out the views of other professionals, children and parents
  • observe and rate teaching or care provision against national standards
  • check the welfare and development of the children
  • record what you see and hear
  • give information and evidence to team meetings
  • produce detailed written reports to tight deadlines
  • give feedback to the education or children's service provider

Working environment

You may need to wear smart business dress.

You could work from home, at a college or at a school.

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly
Direct application

You can apply directly to become an inspector if you've got the relevant qualifications, skills and experience.

You'll need:

  • a degree in a subject like education, childcare or social work
  • qualified teacher status (QTS) to inspect schools
  • a track record of improving standards and services
  • up-to-date knowledge of the job, including recent developments and statutory requirements

You'll also need at least 5 years' experience of leadership in a relevant job like headteacher or senior manager in children's services to become an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more on how to become an inspector from Ofsted.

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You’ll be recruited and trained by Ofsted.

With experience as an HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector, you could become a senior HMI or regional director. Regulatory inspectors may also become regulatory inspection managers or HMIs.

You could use your knowledge and experience to move into a senior role within your own area of work.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • observation and interviewing skills
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • the ability to make fair judgements and decisions
  • leadership and teamworking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • active listening skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • an understanding of teaching
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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