Privacy statement and cookie policy

The data controller for this website is Ofsted.

We apply the Data Protection Act 1998 when handling any personal information. When we ask you for personal information we will keep to the law, and promise to:

  • make sure you know why we need it
  • only ask for what we need, and not to collect too much or irrelevant information
  • protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
  • let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better public services – and if you can say no
  • make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary
  • not make your personal information available for commercial use without your permission.

To help us to keep your information reliable and up to date, please:

  • provide us with accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address.

If you are not satisfied

If you feel Ofsted has not kept its promises about the way we handle your personal information, we ask you write to, or email, Richard McGowan. We will investigate your concerns and report back to you within 20 working days:

Richard McGowan
Senior Information Rights and Delivery Manager
Ofsted
Aviation House
125 Kingsway
London WC2B 6SE.

richard.mcgowan@ofsted.gov.uk

The role of the Information Commissioner

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (or 01625 545745)

Fax: 01625 524510 

Comments and questions

We may pass enquiries you send to another government department so it can fulfil your information request.

Email alerts and RSS

If you sign up to receive email alerts or an RSS feed, we will use your information only to provide the service you have requested. We may occasionally contact email alert subscribers to help us evaluate and improve the service we offer.

If you inform us you wish to cancel email alerts, we will remove you from our mailing list and your details will be deleted from our records.

Site usage information

Cookies

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example your computer or mobile phone. These include small files called cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast.

Aboutcookies.org has information about: cookie law; controlling cookies; and deleting cookies.

Our use of cookies

Cookies for improving service

Google Analytics

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This to ensure that the website is available when you want it and fast.

Name: _utma
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: two years

Name: _utmb
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 30 minutes

Name: _utmc
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: at end of session

Name: _utmz
Typical content: randomly generated number and information on how the site was reached (for example directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)
Expires: six months

For further information on the cookies set by Google Analytics, go to the Google code website.

Javascript

Javascript is used for some website features like pop-ups.

Name: has_js
Typical content: value = 1
Expires: at end of session
This cookie is added by javascript as a way to let code know that the user has javascript enabled.

Cookies to enable user logins and sessions

The following cookie is used to identify your user session and help display personalised content to improve your experiece of ofsted.gov.uk 

Name: SESS_random_string_
Typical content: randomly generated string
Expires: end of session
 

Cookies on the Ofsted website from other websites, including social networking

During your visit to the site you may notice some cookies that are not related to the Ofsted website. This happens when you visit a page with content embedded from a third party (for example YouTube videos) or use some of the links to social networking sites (for example AddThis). These websites may place cookies on your computer.

Ofsted does not control how a third party uses its cookies. You should check these third party websites' privacy policies for more information about their cookies if you are concerned about this.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors' use of the site. Ofsted may use log file information to make improvements to the layout of the website and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around the website. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. 

Video: How government website use cookies