SUPPORTING OFSTED THROUGH STRATEGIC IT CHANGE
The goal of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is to achieve excellence in education and skills for learners of all ages, and in the care of children and young people. It employs 1,500 staff and every week, it carries out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits throughout England, publishing the results online. In the last academic year Ofsted conducted inspections for 3,359 schools, 410 Further Education/sixth form colleges and 20,761 childminders and nurseries. In the same time period, it delivered over 2,000 children’s social care inspections.
In May 2015, Ofsted launched a high-priority strategic change programme to change its operating model so that structures and processes best supported high quality inspection. The Future Operating Model change programme set out to insource the management of inspectors for the Education Learning and Skills remit. This required a wide range of organisational, systems and staffing change.
Novatia was appointed to work in partnership with Ofsted on the systems aspects of the programme. We provided project management for the specification and phased implementation of an enhanced and expanded inspection scheduling system that met the requirements of the new remit. The nature of the inspection and regulation process is core to the business. Therefore, the change programme had to ensure business-as-usual was unaffected throughout the transition.
The specific challenge for Novatia and Ofsted together included project managing the specification and development of new functionality, enhancements to existing functionality, updating interfaces to remote systems and migration of data from existing to new systems. Novatia worked in partnership with Ofsted to support definition of the systems requirements, and to produce plans to monitor development, testing, implementation and go-live cutover. During this time, Novatia played an essential and integrated role as part of the Ofsted delivery team:
- Conducting daily progress reviews
- Producing regular progress reporting to stakeholders
- Ensuring consistent and reliable delivery
- Providing quality assurance for high risk areas
- Resolving barriers to progress
- Planning for effective ‘Go Live’ cutover and support
With Novatia’s support, the Future Operating Model programme went live in September 2015, permitting the organisation to successfully insource Education Learning and Skills inspection for England in its entirety. Programme outputs were:
- 330 system requirements
- 8 new operating model journeys
- 42 new/refined role types
- 14 new/updated policies
- 170 new data and reporting requirements
Novatia continues to support Ofsted’s next phase of the strategic change programme for Early Years, which is due for delivery in spring 2018, along with a mission-critical database software upgrade.DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE PDF