Ofsted 'not anticipating' graded inspections in January

Ofsted will carry out 'some activity' in January, but the deputy director for FE and skills does not expect this to include graded inspections
1st December 2020, 1:03pm
Julia Belgutay

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Ofsted 'not anticipating' graded inspections in January

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/ofsted-not-anticipating-graded-inspections-january
Ofsted Does Not Expect To Return To Full Graded Inspections In January

Ofsted is not expecting to return to graded inspections in January, its deputy director for further education and skills has said.

Speaking on the day the inspectorate published its annual report, Paul Joyce told Tes he did not "anticipate we will go back to graded inspections in January". He said it was not clear what exactly Ofsted's work would look like next month.

Mr Joyce said: "We will be carrying out some activity in January, but what that activity will look like we will have to wait for an announcement from the secretary of state."

He added this would be different from the interim visits Ofsted carried out from September, as that scheme came to a close.

Ofsted halted full inspections as a response to the coronavirus pandemic but had planned to restart them next month.


Ofsted annual report: What it says about colleges

Ofsted interim visits: A first-hand account

Background: First college rated 'outstanding' in new Ofsted framework


Curriculum focus

Mr Joyce said: "We want to go back to the education inspection framework (EIF) as soon as possible because that is the right thing to do and the best thing to do. When we go back we will always follow public health guidance.

"The difficulty will be how we apply EIF when we go back. A lot of further education provision is about work-based learning and we know that is a challenge for some providers right now."

Looking at today's annual report, Mr Joyce said the takeaway for FE was "how well the EIF has been received by the sector - albeit after a limited number of inspections".

He said feedback both to inspectors and in other stakeholder engagement had been very positive: "They like the curriculum focus and they like the focus on the learner experience and the delivery of competencies and skills. I thought it was a good framework for FE, we did a lot of consultation and a lot of engagement with the sector, so I expected it to land fairly well, but I am pleased it has landed this well."

The EIF would be kept under review and evaluation, he added - something he said he would like to do once more inspections had been carried out.

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