From education to employment

New Centre in Manchester for Education Inspecting Body

In a move to further cement their work across the country, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) has opened a new National Business Unit in the heart of Manchester, much to the delight of Manchesters Investment Agency, MIDAS.

The move will boost the work of inspections in the area, and will bring 160 new jobs to the area as the centre sets about its business. Further to this development, the guardian of standards across the education sector will be recruiting for twenty further positions, with adverts going up across Manchester and the surrounding area. The move is innovative, as it is the first time that the services have been coordinated within one office. It is hoped that this will allow for a smoother and sleeker operation, providing the public with the best possible service.

Bell Tolls for Change

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell, was understandably delighted at this expansion for Ofsted. “I”m delighted that our new National Business Unit is going to be based in Manchester. Ofsted has always had a significant presence in Manchester and so it was an obvious choice for us.” The move should also have knock ““ on effects in other areas of inspection, freeing up space and working hours in other offices for work in other sectors of Education.

The effects of this move are set to extend throughout the area, but will be felt the most in the Mancunian urban spread. The Northern Region encompasses Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Tees Valley, Cumbria, Lancashire, Humberside, Greater Manchester, Greater Merseyside, Cheshire and Warrington, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. The changes are part of a major organisational restructure, which included all 13 offices being moved to three core centres; Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham and a London-based headquarters.

In 2001, Ofsted also acquired the authority for for inspecting all 16-19 education and for the regulation of early years childcare, including childminders. With the department seeminlgy set to take on the remit of the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI), this is unlikely to be the last “organisational” change that takes place. Whether it provides a better service or not is still in the balance.

Jethro Marsh

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