Sir Michael Wilshaw couldn’t resist another high profile opportunity to bash colleges.
It’s clear that his support team, including his FE deputy Paul Joyce, had helped produce an annual report designed to support a college sector struggling to implement an English and maths resit policy that “was not having the desired impact in practice”.
The Ofsted report says: “Inspection evidence shows that, for some students, having to retake their GCSE can be demotivating” and goes on to suggest “an alternative level two qualification may be more appropriate.”
But Sir Michael couldn’t help himself when questioned about the policy after his speech. He blamed colleges, who are forced by the government to deliver the GCSE to some students. Instead of questioning the policy, as per his report, he said there was “simply no excuse for a college letting down large numbers of students.”
I then challenged him, pointing out “the policy is that they must have a GCSE” and asking “is your opinion that it should be the GCSE?” to which he said: “Why not?”
It shows yet again that he says what he thinks, with little to no thought for the evidence his organisation gathers at inspection.
I’m confident the incoming chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, will give the FE sector the respect it deserves.
So fairwell Sir Michael, the Cinderella sector will happily go to the ball without you.