At the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) we believe that inspection is a key tool in raising standards and improving lives – and therefore it lies at the heart of Ofsted’s ethos and activities. In order for our inspectors to promote, monitor and report on how schools, colleges, children’s homes, local authorities and early childhood provision are raising standards, they need to be able to gather information intelligently and share it efficiently.

I believe that effective information sharing can only be achieved if files and other content are available to individuals at the right time, the right place and in the right format.

In the last two years we have seen an explosion in the volume and variety of data. This information often needs to be shared with individuals who don’t work for Ofsted, such as schools and government departments. We carry out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits throughout England and their participation is the key to a successful process, raising standards and improving lives.

The platforms we previously relied on for collaboration were limiting effectiveness. The main issue was that our teams at Ofsted were unable to share content securely outside the firewall and the secure email platform’s file size restrictions slowed the teams down considerably.

We decided to go with a cloud based collaboration platform. We’ve satisfied ourselves that Huddle is appropriately secure for our official material as well was being easy to use. Huddle empowers Ofsted to collaborate with colleagues, external partners, other government bodies, or contactors through any device. Huddle is inspiring a new, more effective way of working across Ofsted and helping us to deliver on our digital transformation agenda. Our legal department was the first team to start using Huddle. Other teams quickly adopted Huddle because it was so popular. Four Ofsted teams and more than 150 staff are now using Huddle to support Ofsted school inspection teams, and share confidential legal documentation with external firms and other government departments, safe in the knowledge that Huddle is secure. Huddle really is simple to use and there have been very few support calls to the Information Services team. We’re really pleased with what we’ve seen so far and anticipate more Ofsted teams implementing Huddle in the near future.

Tom Zebedee

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