Education Inspector

Job Description:

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) inspectors visit, inspect and report on the quality of places of education and learning, and children's social care services.

Job Category:

What you will do:

This will vary from country to country. In the UK, however, you’ll be employed directly by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) as an HMI – His 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


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • 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
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Education Inspector, specific subjects are not typically outlined as strict requirements. However, a strong educational foundation and certain skills are important for pursuing a career in education inspection. Here are some considerations:

  1. English Language: Proficiency in English is crucial, as effective communication and report writing skills are integral to the role of an Education Inspector.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills may be useful for data analysis and understanding statistical information related to educational assessments.

Post School

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 – His Majesty’s Inspector.

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:

  • meet nationality requirements
  • pass enhanced background checks

You’ll also find it useful to have a driving licence.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical work hours could be variable.

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

You may need to wear smart business clothes.

Career Path & Progression:

You’ll be recruited and trained by Ofsted.

With experience as an HMI – His 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.