Ofsted has confirmed plans for visiting further education providers from this September.
In guidance published on its website today, the inspectorate says that interim and monitoring visits will be carried out from 28 September 2020.
Ofsted adds that it intends to return to routine inspections from January 2021 – but “will keep the exact timing under review.”
The guidance says: “Routine inspections will remain suspended during this initial period while providers resume normal activity following the extended break in on-site education and training. We intend to return to routine inspection in January 2021 but will keep the exact timing under review.”
The guidance published today follows an announcement made in July in which Ofsted stressed that no judgement grade would be given during interim visits.
Ofsted to return to colleges
Outcomes of the visit would, however, be published in a “brief report” that shares “what steps are being taken to enable learners to resume a full programme of education or training”.
The interim visits will last for two days and are to help learners, parents, employers and the government understand how providers “are meeting the needs of students and apprentices in this period”. Colleges will be made aware of the visit up to four days in advance.
The inspectorate also said that where there were any “significant causes for concern”, for example around safeguarding, it may carry out a monitoring visit to any provider at a “reasonable time”. Concerns arising from monitoring visits may lead to an early full inspection.