Ofsted to launch new inspection framework consultation at SFCA conference next week

Ofsted will launch its consultation on the new education inspection framework at the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association winter conference next week.

Amanda Spielman, the education watchdog’s chief inspector, will use her speech at the event in London on Wednesday to open the consultation on the new framework, which will be introduced from September.

She previously outlined the changes providers can expect to see in inspections and reports during her speech at the Association of Colleges annual conference in November.

These included scrapping outcomes as a standalone judgement, introducing a new quality of education judgement to cover curriculum alongside teaching, learning and assessment, and a reduction in the number of types of provision from six to three.

SFCA chief executive Bill Watkin said he was “delighted” that Ofsted had chosen to launch the consultation at its winter conference.

“Ofsted’s recent annual report showed that 81 per cent of sixth form colleges and over three quarters of 16-19 academies are rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding.

“There is a lot of interest in the sector about the new framework and our members are looking forward to hearing the chief inspector’s plans in more detail.” 

The skills minister Anne Milton will also address the winter conference, which is being held at Friends House in Euston, London from 9am on Wednesday, January 16.


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  1. Just Saying

    We see frequently how significant OFSTED inspection has become for FE colleges and independent providers. This esteemed publication is never slow to report on this. It can trigger significant implications for senior college management in terms of careers and livelihoods. It can close independent training providers, “trashing” reputations and resulting in uncertainty and hardship for staff. It is therefore essential that the OFSTED Framework is fit for purpose in “wielding this power”.
    How can a framework rigidly formulated for dealing with children and minors in schools and colleges be considered appropriate for dealing with employed senior experienced staff doing higher level programmes either as an Apprenticeship or Advance Learner Loan funded? They are in a completely different situation and context.
    Given the serious consequences of OFSTED inspection, it is seriously flawed thinking to suggest that it can be adapted for these types of programmes. Surely it should be designed for these programmes and accompanied by experienced inspectors familiar with them. The framework should embrace this and have distinct elements that apply to some types of provision and not in the same way to others. This should be stated in the framework and not have to rely on individual inspectors to interpret this for a completely different type of setting and context. Surely the consequences are too serious for this to continue?