If you’ve successfully applied to the #RoATP as a new #apprenticeship provider, you’ll know this is only the first step towards delivering high-quality programmes.

I firmly believe (and the Ofsted data would support this) there isn’t any provision within the FE landscape that is harder to do well.

The complexity of funding, juggling multiple stakeholders, rolling recruitment programmes and the move from frameworks to standards contribute to this amongst many other factors.

We hear similar concerns and challenges in relation to quality assurance and improvement raised when we support new providers:

  • “We’ve never been inspected before, so our understanding of Ofsted and what it’s like to be inspected is pretty low.”
  • “We’ve been asked to write a self-assessment report and quality improvement plan. Help!”
  • “We’ve got so much on our plate with making sure we’re ESFA compliant we haven’t even started thinking about being inspected.”
  • “We’re seriously worried about the impact of not doing well in an early monitoring visit/ inspection. We’ve heard negative things from other people in the sector. As an employer-provider the reputational damage is concerning our board”
  • “We’re wearing so many hats as a small team, focused on doing well for our apprentices, it’s difficult to keep track of what all of these other bodies expect of us.”
  • “I’ve been on the training and attended webinars but with so much on, it’s easy to forget what was said once I’m back in the day job.”

As is always our way, we encourage everyone we work with to continue to focus on the very reason they got into delivering apprenticeships; for the good of the apprentice and their employer. Yes, preparation for a visit from Ofsted is helpful but only to gain confidence in ensuring you’re able to show what you do well, explain what needs to be improved and what you intend to do about it.

We say this from a position of experience having been on the receiving end of many inspections over the years. Effective self-assessment and a structured approach to improvement planning is a cornerstone of this; do it first and foremost to drive your own organisation’s success.

We’ve spent time mulling over how we can support new providers with this, implementing the quality improvement policies and processes written about as part of a RoATP application. We recognise money can be tight in the early days and investment in software needs to be proportionate.

Free insightQ access

Whilst we’re a commercial business, I’m proud that we’ve built a reputation for being generous in our willingness to give our time and resource for free – along with many of our clients supporting us – to driving improvement in the sector. We would like to extend this to our software solution insightQ in 2020.

Therefore, if you:

  • Deliver apprenticeships in England
  • Have not had a full inspection by Ofsted
  • Would like to build a robust approach to self-assessing from the outset

We will give you free access to the insightQ Evaluate and Store modules for one user to help write a really good self-assessment report and collate your evidence base to link with it easily.

We warn you now; if you’ve a tendency to write a lot of words, we’ll be challenging you to reduce the quantity and improve the quality! We could all do with that right?

To find out more, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the Mesma team.

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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