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Ofsted proposes sharper focus on adult education failings

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Ofsted has unveiled its proposals for inspecting further education and adult learning providers from next year – underscoring its intention to give more focus to low performers.

The children’s services watchdog said the changes were intended to focus inspection more sharply on those areas that had the most impact, and would see inspectors spending more time with weaker providers.

It said that as a result of proposals in the government’s Schools White Paper, the inspectorate would lead to an “inspection proportionate to risk” approach.

Providers judged to be “outstanding” at their last inspection would not be inspected again unless there was a decline in standards or a request for an inspection to be made.

Those judged to be “good” at their last inspection would not be inspected again for six years unless grounds to do so came to light.

However providers judged to be “satisfactory” but believed to be declining or “stuck” could face inspection every two years and additional monitoring visits.

There would be no change to the timescales for monitoring providers judged to be “inadequate”.

Chief inspector Miriam Rosen said the latest proposed framework built on the current one, which has been in place for the past two years, giving inspectors chance to take an even closer look at providers ability to improve standards for learners and increase their job prospects. 

“We want inspectors to spend an even greater proportion of their time observing lessons and training sessions,” she said.

“We propose to develop an even stronger focus on how well staff teach and how well learners progress and achieve results.

“We want the views of everyone with an interest in further education and skills to help us to shape the way providers are inspected.”

See file at right for Ofsted’s full proposals.

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