Ofsted scraps no notice inspections

Ofsted has dropped plans to introduce no notice inspections in the FE sector.

The notice period for inspections will instead be reduced to two working days from September 2012.

Matthew Coffey, national director for learning and skills at Ofsted said: “After listening to people’s views following our consultation Ofsted is reducing the notice period of inspections for further education and skills providers from three weeks to two working days as many providers raised genuine concerns about logistics.”

Ofsted say “just under half” of all respondents agreed with the proposal to make all inspections unannounced. In comparison “almost three quarters” of learners supported the change.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) say they are pleased Ofsted has dropped the proposal.

“It would have reduced the reliability and comparability of the results,” an AELP spokesperson said.

“Given that apprenticeships are employer based programmes and apprentices are employees who may not come together to learn in a formal sense on a regular basis, the samples available to inspectors may be significantly skewed simply due to who is available to be observed or interviewed at no notice.”

The spokesperson added: “There might well have been instances where there were no learners on site at all.”

(Note: This article will be updated as the day progresses.)