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