Press release: Ofsted asks children for their help with the Big Listen


March 21
10:00 2024

  • Online consultation aimed at children of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Their views on whats important will help shape Ofsteds future direction.
  • Focus groups will hear directly from children in care and care leavers.

The online consultation gives children (up to age 18) the chance to tell Ofsted what they think inspectors should look at when they visit their school or social care setting, and how Ofsted can do its job better.

The childrens consultation aligns with the main Big Listen consultation, which opened on 8 March for parents, carers and professionals working in education and social care.

The childrens consultation asks a series of short questions for children to answer anonymously, without revealing any personal details. There are questions for all children to answer about how Ofsted should inspect schools and other education providers, followed by a section about social care providers, for children who have experience of being in care.

Alongside the consultation, Ofsted is partnering with a number of organisations to hold a series of Big Listen focus groups with care-experienced children and young people, including those in the youth justice system. The sessions will take place during May and June and involve children of different age ranges and diverse backgrounds. The views and feedback collected will help Ofsted make sure that any future changes to inspection and regulation are focused on how well education and care providers help and support children.

The childrens focus groups will complement other Ofsted-commissioned research, by independent organisations NatCen and IFF Research, which are supporting the Big Listen through surveys and focus groups with the public, parents and professionals.

Ofsted Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver said:

We will always put the interests of children first, so were very keen to hear what they have to say about our work. We want to know what is important to them about their school or care provider, and what they think we should be looking at when we inspect.

Our job is to make sure all children are getting the high standards of education and care they deserve, and that disadvantage or vulnerability are never a barrier to new opportunities and better life chances.

Feedback from children themselves will help us make sure that we are doing that job the best way we can. So I really hope as many as possible will get involved in the Big Listen and fill out the survey. And Id encourage children to ask their parents and carers to do the same. We work for all of them and we need to get it right.

Adults can fill in the consultation on behalf of children, and it will take just a few minutes to complete. Like the wider Big Listen consultation, the childrens version will close on 31 May 2024.

Notes to editors:

  1. The consultation is open to children up to age 18, in primary, secondary and further education, as well as children in care.
  2. Ofsted will carefully analyse all the responses to the Big Listen consultation and publish its conclusions and future plans later this year.

Press office

8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday 0300 013 0415

Related Articles


  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: