Ofsted accused of overlooking deprived students' efforts

14th March 2003 at 00:00
COLLEGES don't get the credit they deserve for their work with disadvantaged students, MPs have been told.

The Association of Colleges says the Office for Standards in Education needs to think again about the way it inspects further education.

In a submission to the Commons education and skills select committee, it accused Ofsted of failing to recognise the progress of students who do not undertake a full qualification, or fail to complete their course.

The AoC, which represents colleges in England, also complained that a college could be deemed to be inadequate if provision was unsatisfactory in just four out of 14 inspected curriculum areas, even if the rest were excellent.

Judith Norrington, AoC director of curriculum and quality, said: "It is in colleges' interests to offer the best possible service.

"The AoC believes Ofsted needs to look at its own processes to see if they do result in a picture of an institution which that institution recognises."

But the association's position was given short shrift by chief inspector David Bell, who gave evidence to the committee on Wednesday.

He said: "The judgment about colleges being inadequate is a serious one, and it is based on the evidence we have gathered."

David Taylor, Ofsted's director of inspection, said colleges must accept that their role has changed since the days when "putting posteriors on benches was the highest priority".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today