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Self-help is the way forward

Greg Molan believes that the sector itself, rather than Ofsted, should be helping its own in the aftermath of an "inadequate" judgement (FE Focus, October 22), while Paul Harvey looks to Ofsted for "a different sort of advice rather than just measuring and judging" (FE Focus, October 8).

AoC thinks both approaches are right. We continue to press for changes to Ofsted which will allow inspectors to offer advice and support during the inspection process. But AoC is also very supportive towards colleges in difficulties. Our Soho Group acts as a self-help group for colleges with low inspection grades. It meets members of the inspectorate for frank discussions about the re-inspection process and the lack of clarity about practice between the local LSC and Ofsted.

AoC also works individually with colleges with particular areas of concern and facilitates the sharing of their experience and practice, via briefings, conferences and information packs on all aspects of the inspection process. Above all, we value being able to support our members going through difficult times and would be delighted to get a call from any college on inspection issues.

Judith Norrington

Director of Learning and Quality

Association of Colleges

Centre Point, Oxford Street

London

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