We can organise our own affairs without Ofsted

14th December 2007 at 00:00

Ofsted should step out of the classroom and let colleges and training providers take over the inspections role themselves, ministers have been told.

A report on how the FE system could run more of its own affairs, produced in response to a challenge from the former education secretary Alan Johnson, said the inspectorate should in future focus on checking the right systems and processes were in place, rather than observing classes. Bill Rammell, the further and higher education minister, welcomed the report, which proposes a new body called the Single Voice to represent all parts of the FE system in establishing a self-regulation regime.

In a letter to the report's authors, he said: "Self-regulation is a fundamental element in shaping the FE system of the future.

"We expect it to provide even greater benefits for learners, employers and communities as well as to benefit individual institutions."

The proposal was presented by former Knowsley College principal Sir George Sweeney and Park Lane College principal John Taylor, who led the self- regulation group responsible for the report. It says that once the trials have been properly evaluated, a new system-wide FE body would consider a national peer review and development system which should first be incorporated into inspections, and eventually take over.

Ofsted would instead "focus on the effectiveness of the self-regulation at a system level".

Sir George said: "Let's be clear. Self-regulation is our tool for tackling and, where necessary, uprooting poor provision in skills delivery.

"It is our device for confirming that eligibility for public funding is not a long-service medal, but a privilege earned through the gritty business of peer review, performance appraisal and the self-discipline of daily accountability.

"The promise before us is of more purposeful in-trays, fewer nagging demands for the same information you provided to the suits concerned only last week."

Melanie Hunt, director of learning and skills at Ofsted, said that even if inspections continued, these could be limited to a random sample of colleges.

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