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New ‘Ofsted Academy’ will open up inspector training

The schools watchdog is to open a new “Ofsted Academy” to bring together all its “specialist inspection and regulation learning under one roof,” Schools Week can reveal.

The inspectorate is in the early stages of developing the concept as part of its “ambition to learn from Civil Service organisations that already use this model and to provide the very best training for our inspectors”.

New chief inspector Sir Martyn Oliver pledged to open up the “high-quality” training inspectors to the sector as part of a promise the inspectorate will be “of the system, by the system.”

The project was disclosed in a job advert for a head of organisational development to “play a leading role in the establishment” of its academy.

“In future, this could also include all of our generalist learning as well as the Civil Service professions and elements of recruitment,” the advert said.

In return for a salary of just under £80,000, Ofsted said the successful applicant will “lead the transformation of our learning approach over the next two years.”

New boss wants to be more ‘transparent’

It entails setting the “strategic direction of Ofsted’s learning culture” and spearheading organisational development to achieve its “strategic priority to have a skilled workforce.”

The employee will design and deliver “an academy approach, offer and structure that meets the needs of the organisation in the future.”

Sir Martyn Oliver

Ofsted was criticised in 2022 for refusing to publish “aide memoires” – training guides that summarise inspection criteria – given to inspectors after some were leaked online.

Oliver has since signalled to be more “open and transparent.”

He told Schools Week previously: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose inspectorate … that actually sees Ofsted being far more a part of the system.

“It really shouldn’t be a sense of duality or elimination, it should be synthesis. And that’s what I’m trying to create: it’s not us and them, or get rid of one or keep the other. It should be Ofsted is ‘of’ the system, ‘by’ the system and ‘for’ children, parents and students.”

Ofsted refused to comment. 

Inspections restarted this week after a pause for inspector mental health training.

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