Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. School leaders will have the chance to work for Ofsted for a year under a new secondment programme announced by Amanda Spielman. Ofsted’s Chief Inspector revealed the plans on Saturday at the school and college leaders at the annual ASCL conference in Birmingham. The new programme will allow Ofsted to gain expertise from middle leaders and up-to-date experiences of running a school, Mrs Spielman said. “I’ve spoken a lot about the importance of collaboration and discussion on inspection. And what makes that possible is the shared experiences of inspectors and school leaders,” she said. “Ofsted is part of the education system, not separate from it.” Under the new programme, subject leads and heads of department, known as middle leaders, will get access to Ofsted training and development and gain insight into what different types of schools are doing. “Many of our inspectors are serving school leaders, and we plan to start a secondment programme early next year to involve even more of them,” she said. “Our plan is for one-year secondments to Ofsted for middle leaders. They will get access to our training and development, and through inspection gain insight into what all different types of schools are doing.” It is hoped school leaders will return to their schools after 12 months having ‘gained hugely’ from the experience, benefitting the school in turn, Mrs Spielman said. “We will pilot this approach with our current trained Ofsted Inspectors so that we can see how well it works. But in time, we’d like these secondments to be open to any school leader who has had some whole school responsibility,” she said. Ofsted sees the new programme as forming part of the development journey of school leaders who are on a trajectory to headship or beyond. Mrs Spielman said she scheme will widen Ofsted’s recruitment net and Ofsted will “benefit enormously” from the direct experience that school leaders have. After the pilot, Ofsted hopes to open the scheme more widely from January next year. Mrs Spielman said: “We are determined to be a force for improvement in education and we believe this scheme will help by widening our recruitment net and sharing our training. And of course we will benefit enormously from the direct experience that school leaders have. It really is an exciting time for people to join us.” Ofsted is also proposing that from September inspectors’ preparation takes place at the school the afternoon before the inspection starts, so that the lead inspector and school leaders can prepare collaboratively.