Information about the accessibility of the documents that we publish at Ofsted.

This policy explains how accessible the documents Ofsted publishes on GOV.UK are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document. It does not cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement covers that.

Using our documents

Ofsted publishes documents in a range of formats, including HTML, PDF, Microsoft Office and Open Document Formats. We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document we make sure that we:

  • provide an HTML option where possible
  • provide CSV data files where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include explanatory text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
  • write in plain English

How accessible our documents are

New documents we publish and the majority of documents you need to download or fill in to access one of the services we provide should be fully accessible.

However, we know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are not tagged up properly – for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are not written in plain English
  • contain images and charts without textual description

This mostly applies to our statistics, corporate reports and research reports. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

There is also a very small number of forms that users need to download or fill in that are not correctly tagged PDFs. These have each had fewer than 100 downloads in the previous year. We will make these fully accessible by December 2020.

If you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need a document we’ve published in a different format:

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the publishing and brand team on [email protected] or call 0300 123 1231.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

Ofsted is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents Ofsted publishes are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

A small number of forms are published as untagged PDFs. This means that they do not identify form fields, headings, lists or data tables correctly. This fails WCAG 2.1 standards 1.3.1: Info and relationships and 4.1.2: Name, role, value. This means users using screen readers may not be able to follow the structure of the document or fill in the forms. We are currently fixing these forms to ensure that they are all accessible PDFs by December 2020.

Some of our documents include diagrams and other visual elements presented without a text alternative. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for perception set out in WCAG 2.1 standard 1.1.1: Non-text content. All documents published after 23 September 2018 include a text alternative for visual elements.

Some links in documents published before 23 September 2018 do not have informative link text. This makes it hard for users using assistive technology to understand what the link is for, and where they would be directed to if they clicked the link. This fails WCAG 2.1 success standard 2.4.4: Link purpose (in context). Links in documents published after 23 September 2018 contain informative link text.

Some of our documents published before 23 September 2018 are not properly tagged, or do not use accessible headings or structures. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for navigation set out in standard 1.3.1 of the WCAG 2.1: Info and relationships. All documents published after 23 September 2018 are tagged and use accessible headings and structures.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to fix corporate annual reports, consultation responses, independent reports, research documents or statistics published before 23 September 2018.

Some of our publications are intended to be used offline, for example posters for childminders to put up, or letters that inspectors send to providers. We will continue to publish these in PDF and Word formats.

For any publications that are not currently accessible, we will provide accessible versions for users on request.

All new documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

How we tested our documents

We last tested our documents in early 2020.

The Ofsted digital team carried out an audit of all content published after September 2018, including:

  • guidance and policy documents in PDF
  • forms in Word and PDF
  • inspection handbooks in PDF
  • data, such as official statistics and management information

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We publish new content as HTML by default where possible.

We will ensure that all PDF forms are fully tagged and accessible by December 2020.

We provide CSV data for all statistics and transparency data where possible.

We will carry out an audit of PDF and Word forms by 2021 exploring how and when to convert these to fully accessible digital services where possible.

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020.

Published 22 September 2020 Contents