NIACE welcomes outcomes from latest Ofsted consultation

31st May 2012

NIACE welcomes three of the outcomes from the latest Ofsted consultation, A Good Education for All, published on Wednesday 30 May 2012.

NIACE is pleased that:

  • learning, assessment and teaching now drive the judgement of outstanding provision;
  • there is a change to the proposed ‘no notice’ inspections and that two-days notice will now normally be given. NIACE sees this as a more effective use of public resources for inspection and we believe that this is a more supportive approach for provision based in communities and in the workplace; and
  • after three consecutive inspections where the provider has not made progression, providers will no longer be automatically considered inadequate and the lead inspector’s judgement will take into account any evidence of progression since the last inspection before any decisions are made.

Mark Ravenhall, NIACE Director of Policy and Impact, said:

“It is useful to see Ofsted’s analysis of the results of the consultation distinguishing between the responses of providers and sector bodies and those of learners, mainly gathered through the National Learner Panel and the National Union of Students. The significant variation between the responses of learners and those of providers and sector bodies should be an area for reflection as we think about local accountability to meet, not only learner needs but those of the wider community.”

“We are pleased that Ofsted are taking into consideration the views of learners which was a great strength under the Adult Learning Inspectorate and helped balance the focus on data and narrow success rates. However we would like to see the introduction of a year-long process which takes into account the views of all learners with an emphasis on those target groups who have been consistently failed by the statutory education system, which Ofsted also oversees. Further Education providers face many challenges in attracting people into learning who think it is not for them. They should be valued for their community engagement and outreach work, working with small groups of learners, micro-businesses, as well as the delivery of large vocational programmes.”