New five-year strategy for Ofsted: a force for improvement

Ofsted, the UK education regulator has published a new five-year strategy, which focuses on being a force for improvement and providing information that enables parents to make the right choice.

New five-year strategy for Ofsted: a force for improvement
Relocating parents considering a British State School will be interested to know that the UK education regulator, The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), has published a new five-year strategy.The strategy focuses on providing parents with more information to enable them to make a reliable choice.Developed in conjunction with serving heads, teachers, and social workers from around the country, the strategy sets out how Ofsted will deliver its mission of improving the lives of children and young people.

Ofsted: a force for improvement

The strategy centres on a fundamental guiding principle that the organisation will be ‘A force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focused inspection and regulation.’The strategy describes how Ofsted will conduct inspection and regulation that is:  
  • Intelligent: work will be evidence-led and evaluation tools and frameworks will be valid and reliable
  • Responsible: frameworks will be fair. Ofsted will seek to reduce inspection burdens and make expectations and findings clear
  • Focused: time and resources will be targeted to where they can lead directly to improvement  
The principle will be underpinned by three core values: 
  • Children, young people and learners first 
  • Independence
  • Accountability and transparency  

Research to ensure reliable measurement

The strategy commits to an ambitious programme of work, which will inform the 2019 inspection framework development. Ofsted is currently undertaking a series of parent focus groups to understand how its reports can provide more information and enable choice.Research into the impact of the current grading structure and an international seminar on the validity of lesson observation will inform future practice.This all aims to ensure that Ofsted is reliably measuring the right things, and that these measures add up to a meaningful overall judgement.The strategy also recognises the vital importance of Ofsted’s independence and commits it to being transparent and accountable in all its work.
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Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of Ofsted, said, “I am pleased to announce our new corporate strategy, which will set Ofsted’s direction during my tenure as chief inspector. I am determined that Ofsted will be a force for improvement.“By really drilling down on how, where and why we inspect and report, we can ensure that inspection and regulation are more than the sum of their parts. One of our greatest strengths is our bird’s eye view of the education, training and care systems. Over my time in office, we will do more to aggregate the insights from individual inspections, so that we can better encourage and support improvement across all the areas we inspect and regulate.   “This high-reaching strategy commits us to inspection that is intelligent, responsible and focused. It will allow us to tackle emerging challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, ensuring that we can have maximum impact in improving young people’s lives.”

Where does Ofsted add most value? 

Julius Weinberg, chair of Ofsted, said, “With our new Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman well established in post, and Ofsted celebrating its 25th anniversary this is the ideal time to set out our new five year strategy. We have taken this opportunity to ensure that our strategy is evidence based and takes account of the wider environment; educational, political and economic. “The strategy is the product of significant engagement with both our inspection workforce and those we inspect. Through that engagement we have been able to build a clear picture of where Ofsted adds most value and what more we need to do to fulfil our mission of being a force for improvement.”
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