Ofsted’s Interim visits: What the first reports say

Ofsted has published the first 10 interim visit reports for FE - focusing on these three key themes

Kate Parker

Ofsted’s Interim visits: the key questions for FE

The first 10 reports from Ofsted’s interim visits have been published this morning.

In July, the inspectorate announced that it would be visiting FE institutions from September to undertake interim visits in place of full-scale inspections. 

In September, Ofsted’s deputy director for further education and skills Paul Joyce said the inspections would “support the sector" and that "these really are discussions, constructive conversations and what it is like on the ground."

The reports published today reveal that that visits focus on three key questions:

  • What actions are leaders taking to ensure that they provide an appropriate curriculum that responds to the reasonable needs of learners and stakeholders and adapts to changed circumstances?
  • What steps are leaders, managers and staff taking to ensure that the approaches used for building knowledge and skills are appropriate to meet the reasonable needs of learners?
  • How are leaders ensuring that learners are safe and well informed about potential risks, including from online sources?

Need to know: What will Ofsted's interim visits actually look like?

More: Ofsted interim visits: A first-hand account

Background: Ofsted to visit FE providers from 28 September


The reports do not give any judgement or grade on the institutions, instead focusing the actions leaders and staff have taken to mitigate against the affects of Covid-19. Their tone generally is positive, highlighting areas of good practice. 

Today's reports cover four colleges, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Blackburn College, Blackpool and the Fylde College and Bradford College, and six training providers, Beacon Education Partnership Limited, Catch 22 Charity Limited, Intuitions Limited, Lean Education And Development Limited, The Autism Project – CareTrade and WS Training Ltd

In September, Graham Razey, chief executive of EKC Group, shared with Tes a first-hand account of an interim visit and suggested that the visits should become a "new blueprint for inspections". 

He said: “Unlike in some Ofsted inspections I’ve seen since joining the FE sector, staff didn’t quake like hyenas; they simply didn’t feel as though they were under a microscope, or like they were going toe to toe with someone looking to find faults in their performance.”

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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