Ofsted: Too little outstanding teaching in learning and skills

Ofsted: Too little outstanding teaching in learning and skills

Quality of teaching in further education has been criticised in the annual report education regulator Ofsted.

The report said there was “too little outstanding teaching in learning and skills providers” inspected in 2010/11.

It said only 13 independent learning providers and two employer providers were judged outstanding for quality of teaching, with no colleges, adult and community learning providers making the grade.

The indictment has led to the suggestion that providers should only be graded with an overall outstanding mark if their teaching is outstanding. The plan is being canvassed by the Institute for Learning (IfL), which has received “strong support” for the notion from more than 2,000 members who have replied to a survey on proposed framework changes.

IfL chief executive Toni Fazaeli said: “We agree with Ofsted that excellent teaching and learning are the keys to success. It is disappointing too little outstanding teaching was seen in colleges, adult and community learning providers and prisons inspected this year.”

Other findings include less than half the colleges inspected being judged to be good or outstanding. However, this is in the context of a risk-based approach to inspection, where a greater percentage of previously satisfactory or inadequate providers were inspected during the course of 2010/11.

The most recent inspections for all colleges showed 70 per cent were graded as good or outstanding. But Ofsted criticised “slow progress” of colleges previously found to be satisfactory, with 22 no better and two worse out of 40.

Joy Mercer, director of policy (Education) at the Association of Colleges, is pleased at the overall picture.

But she added: “There are concerns about the number of colleges which continue to be identified as satisfactory under Ofsted’s new ‘at risk’ inspection regime and the one per cent which are deemed inadequate.

“Colleges are never complacent about their performance and continually strive to improve their provision.”

Independent learning providers increased in those judged good or outstanding; from 47 per cent in 2009/10 to 55 per cent in 2010/11. Outstanding grades have increased from four per cent last year to ten per cent this year. Ten of the 16 employer providers inspected this year were judged to be outstanding or good, and six were judged as satisfactory.

Although 33 of the 45 adult and community learning providers inspected were judged good, only one was outstanding overall and no providers were judged outstanding for quality of teaching for the second year.

Graham Hoyle, chief executive of the AELP, said: “It is very encouraging. The chief inspector also highlights high success rates in the independent sector, which means that we are delivering value for money for the taxpayer and the economy.”