Ofsted 'should delay all inspections until 2021'

The Association of Colleges warns that it would be unfair for Ofsted to inspect colleges later this year

Kate Parker

Coronavirus: Ofsted inspections should be suspended until 2021, says Association of Colleges

Ofsted should delay all college inspections until 2021, the Association of Colleges has said.

Inspections are currently suspended, but it has not been confirmed how long they will remain so.

David Hughes, chief executive of the AoC, said: "Delaying inspections until early next year is the right thing to do in the current circumstances. Our leaders and staff are working tirelessly to support their students and communities.

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"Colleges will be doing everything they can in the autumn term, presuming they can open, to support students to catch up and get back into the rhythm and habit of learning. It would therefore be unfair to ask an institution to be inspected in that same period.”

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The AoC has said that inspections should only go ahead where specific concerns have been raised about safeguarding or an inspection is requested by a college.

The organisation added that as colleges are likely to be closed until at least September, the disruption to usual processes is profound.

"The capacity of colleges will be stretched, and we expect that to affect the whole academic year 2020-21. Inspecting during the autumn term would therefore be unfair," said the AoC. 

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "This is a challenging and uncertain time and all routine inspections are suspended until further notice. Restarting routine inspections is a decision government and Ofsted will take in due course."


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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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