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Changes to inspection – consultation on visits for ‘requires improvement’ further education and skills providers

We’re all clear that Ofsted’s role is to inspect and report on the quality of education and training. The feedback from an inspection is designed to help further education and skills providers improve.

For providers judged requires improvement, inspectors conduct ‘support and challenge’ visits to help providers improve. We want to make some small but important changes to the way we conduct these visits and are consulting on our proposed new arrangements.

As it stands

In September 2012, Ofsted introduced the judgement grade of requires improvement. Since 2013, we’ve carried out 'support and challenge' visits to providers in this group.

Currently, following those visits, we send the provider a letter that sets out what improvements have been made, how they have been implemented and what else the provider might need to review. The provider is then re-inspected within 12 to 24 months. The letter isn't published.

Proposed changes

We propose that a provider graded as requires improvement will receive a single monitoring visit following that inspection, which will normally take place around 7 to 13 months afterwards.

Ofsted will publish a report with the results of the monitoring visit as progress judgements. The report will include the provider’s achievements since the last inspection. It will show what changes they've made to improve identified weaknesses and will list improvements that still need to be made.

Why are we proposing the changes?

We know that learners, employers and the public are all interested in the quality of education, training and improvements being made by a college or other provider. A published report makes this clear and available to all and shows what progress is being made.

We believe that this approach will be more useful to providers. It should have greater impact and provide more support to senior leaders to help them improve.

When will the changes take place?

Subject to the consultation, this change will affect providers judged to require improvement from 10 November, the date that the consultation began.

Have your say

The consultation is now live and closes on 22 December 2017.

I would encourage all providers, learners and employers, and all of those with an interest to give us their views.

We know that providers want to move to good and we expect that this new way of working can help them in that journey.


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