Inspection scheme gets go-ahead from Blunkett

1st August 1997 at 01:00
A new inspection regime for government-funded training providers will be launched next April and developed by training and enterprise council chiefs.

The TEC national council beat off a bid by the Office for Standards in Education to devise the scheme and has now got approval from David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, to continue the development and carry out the first tranche of inspections next year.

Mr Blunkett has told the TECs: "Inspection needs to be independent if public confidence is to be guaranteed. For this reason my invitation to the TEC National Council is dependent on there being a direct reporting line from the inspectorate to myself."

A training standards council, originally due to be called a quality council, will be established with an independent chair and representatives from the private sector, as well as stakeholders - the TUC and the Confederation of British Industry. There will be observers from the Further Education Funding Council, OFSTED and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The council will have teams of full-time and part-time inspectors and they will scrutinise the work of an estimated 4,000 training providers. The Government is building on work begun by its predecessor, which published a consultation paper on self-assessment and training last August.

The TECs were keen to play a central role in the inspection of training, in a similar relationship to the one the funding councils have with the colleges. There has also been a desire for convergence, and the inspectors' assessments are similar to those of the FEFC, ranging from a grade 1 for "outstanding provision which has many strengths and few weaknesses" to a grade 5 - "poor provision which has few strengths and many weaknesses".

External inspection will assess whether providers' self-assessments of their own training provision are rigorous and accurate. The council will publish reports and make known good practice as a means of raising standards.

The inspectors will chiefly be concerned with checking the quality of the learning experience of the individual and with changing the emphasis from systems audit. They will visit the premises where the training is taking place, talk to the trainees and observe the effectiveness of their training.

Inspection reports will assess seven aspects of provision: training and assessment; trainees' achievements; trainee support; management of training; resources; equal opportunities; and quality assurance.

Following publication of the report, each training provider will be required to provide a written response outlining plans for addressing any weaknesses identified. The TECs will assist the inspectorate by monitoring any follow-up action.

The inspectorate, in collaboration with the TEC national council, will maintain a database which will record the location of all government-funded training, plus the outcomes of self-assessments and inspections.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now