Ofsted college reports’ analysis reveals QA processes at heart of FE success

The importance of self-assessment and improvement planning at the heart of FE success is recognised in the latest Ofsted college reports.

College reports published by the education standards’ watchdog Ofsted for February to April 2016 reveal almost three quarters (71 per cent) of colleges that achieved a ‘Good’ grade were shown to have good self-assessment and improvement planning in place.

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This reflected inclusive practices and improvement plans that led to demonstrably improved provision for learners, according to quality assurance specialists MESMA.

Leaders, managers and staff at achieving colleges were also shown to have a strong understanding of the need to have good processes in place to control and oversee the delivery of quality assurance programmes campus-wide.

Those colleges that Ofsted revealed needed to improve their self-assessment and improvement planning, saw in some cases senior management failing to implement planned actions quickly enough.

There were also cases of staff not engaging in these processes and failing to identify accurately enough those areas where there was room for improvement.

Louise Doyle, director at MESMA, said that while it’s early days for inspections in the light of last year’s changes to the Common Inspection Framework, the key aspects of what is defined as good education remain as pertinent and relevant as ever before.

“Our analysis indicates that regardless of ‘Good or Better’ provision, new moves by colleges to have in place a robust model of self-assessment and improvement planning, which is accurate, well structured, evidence rich and ultimately challenges staff to continuously improve, can only be beneficial to learners.”

MESMA’s report is available here 

Debbie Carter

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