Inspectors are to give tougher scrutiny to government initiatives and their impact on improving results.
The Office for Standards in Education revealed this week that it will cut back on reports on smaller-scale issues and focus more on schemes such as the national primary strategy and the teacher workforce agreement. The plan is one of several outlined in a report on Ofsted's aims for the next four years.
Chief inspector David Bell said Ofsted would scruitinise the primary strategy, key stage 3 strategy, changes to exams and the post-14 curriculum and workforce reform.
"This focus on major strategies may mean that Ofsted undertakes fewer small-scale exercises, but it will allow us to comment more effectively on new policies and emerging issues of national importance," he said.
Other plans include a further review of school inspections. Mr Bell said it was necessary to start consultation on the effectiveness of inspection next year because of the long lead-in time before further changes could be made.
Ofsted has also pledged to make better use of pupil data to tell schools about their progress. This will include the creation of interactive online versions of the performance and assessment report which schools are given.
Ofsted was unable to specify what type of "smaller-scale" report it may have to abandon, although small-scale reports produced recently include an examination of the work schools carry out on sustainable development.
Strategic plan 2004 to 2007 is at www.ofsted.gov.uk