No link left behind for edu watchdogs’ website move

Exam regulators Ofqual and school inspectors Ofsted, both independent bodies, are to move their information and services to GOV.UK, the single government website.

Last month Ofqual announced its intention to move after digital manager Philip McAllister posted a letter to visitors of their existing website, saying the reason for the move was to “put your needs first”.

The body said it hoped the move will make it easier for users to find relevant information and it would be teaming up with experts in the Government Digital Service to give users the “best possible experience”.

Ofsted has announced this week it will also be relocating.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “The GOV.UK portal brings more than 300 public services together under a single web address, making it simpler, clearer and easier for users to find the information they need.”

Ofsted are in the early stages of transition but aims to complete the move by the end of the year.

Both bodies have been quick to defend the moves saying that despite transferring information to a government controlled website, they will remain fully independent.

Mr McAllister from Ofqual said: “If you are concerned that moving our website to GOV.UK makes us less independent, you needn’t be.

“We are still as independent as we have always been and our website moving to GOV.UK doesn’t affect the work we do or the way we will do it.”

Ofsted echoed this sentiment: “Moving will allow Ofsted to provide a more cost effective service while still maintaining our independence. We will retain full control over the content published on the site.”

In most cases, content for the two bodies will migrate and then work in the same way as before, apart from a change in appearance.

When material is moved, any bookmarks or saved links to the defunct site will direct users to the new GOV.UK site using a matched URL redirect service. This should take users to the closest possible page.

Previous inspection reports published by Ofsted will not be affected by the transition, including when a school has converted to an academy.

Content that will not be moved over to the new address for Ofqual will be stored by the National Archives, which users will be directed to where appropriate.

The new web addresses will be www.gov.uk/ofqual and www.gov.uk/ofsted.

Users can start using the new site for Ofqual now or keep using the current site until the move has been completed.

Ofsted will be uploading content onto GOV.UK throughout November and December and advises continued use of the existing site.

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