I was saddened but not surprised when the tenth inadequate Oftsed rating for an FE college was published.

It is no secret that many colleges have struggled to come to terms a perfect storm of funding cuts and extensive government reforms to our sector.

This has been exposed through a succession of dire Ofsted reports, since the launch of the new common inspection framework.

The change that colleges have struggled with most has to be compulsory maths and English GCSE resits.

The government was right to highlight past numeracy and literacy failings across education and legislate to improve things.

But a little more leeway in how colleges are inspected over this wouldn’t go amiss.

It isn’t fair that maths and English should be having an overriding influence on the inadequate ratings — when there are so many other elements to take into account with judging colleges’ overall performances.

A good solution would be to create a headline field for this area of provision. Then maths and English could be judged in its own right, but wouldn’t necessarily drag down everything else.

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