Ash Vaughan leads a virtual classroom with Oliver Jordan and Sam Cullen who are studying an Electrotechnical apprenticeship through block release. Image © Eastleigh College
@Eastleigh_Col - In response to the rapid expansion of online education and the proliferation of virtual classrooms, Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education Children's Services and Skills) is undertaking a national review to evaluate learners’ experience of the online learning available to them. The national review is supported by the Department of Education (DfE) and the cooperation of the Association of Colleges (AoC), the Association of Employer and Learner Providers (AELP) and Holex.

Eastleigh College is one of the 12 FE colleges nationally invited to participate, and the only college from the Solent region. The Ofsted led review is looking at the quality of learners’ experiences of online education in further education and skills settings during the COVID-19-affected summer term. Individual colleges will not receive a report or a grade but the overall findings will be used to develop a national report to inform their future strategies.

The Ofsted feedback was extremely positive

Over a two day period, an Ofsted inspector reviewed the remote learning provided by Eastleigh College in a range of subjects during the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. The inspector met with a sample of Eastleigh College managers, teaching staff and learners, whilst also sampling online teaching resources, assessments and tracking documentation. The College’s Supported Learning curriculum was included in the review.

The feedback received by Eastleigh College was extremely positive about the quality of online learning and support in place, with learners reporting that their learning and progress has not been adversely impacted by the lockdown across a range of levels.

The ‘whole-college’ approach achieves blended learning strength

In addition to visiting online lessons the Ofsted review sampled the College’s well established blended learning approach to education where learners have a facilitator or mentor on hand, someone to help with the technology and focus their attention on online educational materials. This combines opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.

Ashley Vaughan, Curriculum Manager, Electrical, said: “The Ofsted review is a welcome opportunity to showcase the innovative, dedicated and professional hard work that all of our Electrical teaching, support staff and learners have put in over this period of great uncertainty. All our learners have stepped-up in this very challenging time by taking the opportunity to display to future employers that even in the hardest of circumstances they were dedicated and focused on their own development and success.”

Joanne Landon, Curriculum Manager for Professional Studies, Sport, Uniformed Public Services and Built Environment, said: “This has been a steep learning curve in a very uncertain and challenging time. Both staff and learners at Eastleigh College have fully embraced this and worked hard to ensure continued learner success.”

Paul Stannard. Vice Principal - Quality said: “This is a brilliant outcome and a real testament to the hard work that everyone has put in over the last 11 weeks to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged and all have the best opportunity to achieve this academic year and beyond”. 

Supported Learning is innovative and creative in the virtual world

The College’s Supported Learning curriculum was included in the Ofsted review. During the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown the Supported Learning team has sought to ensure all learners with special educational needs and disabilities are well supported and safeguarded, and continue to receive the highest quality of education. The innovative approach taken by the team includes:

  • Maintaining the structure of the regular timetable is being maintained to reduce anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Support staff and tutors are making regular welfare calls to all learners to ensure very close liaison with the safeguarding team is maintained.
  • Learning Support Assistants continue to offer learning support during online video calls, in chat rooms and over the telephone. This provides learners with the same access to a friendly familiar face who seamlessly guides learners to the correct virtual classes.
  • Tutors are delivering online fitness classes, setting home-baking and household tasks and holding telephone interviews.
  • Learners receive resources sent to their homes including seeds for planting tasks.
  • Learners without IT are making use of the FREEPOST delivered resources that the team has made available.
  • The Supported Internship team continues to deliver virtual job clubs to develop employability skills and prepare learners for the next step whilst keeping communications open with employers.
  • One learner has even managed to gain a paid job through the lockdown period with help from the Supported Internship course
  • Staff have invited external providers including ‘Can Do project’, run by Leonard Cheshire, to support skills development.

Sharon Baxter, Curriculum Manager, Supported Learning, said: “The whole college approach to excellence and opportunity in education involves tutors, job coaches and learning support staff who all have had a shared focus to ensure that all learners continue to receive a quality education, are well supported and safeguarded. There have been some very innovative and creative ideas to enable this to continue outside of the classroom and in the virtual world.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Shahjahan Shamim shared a photo. 6 hours 59 minutes ago

Shahjahan Shamim is one of the known names when it comes to emerging singers and musicians. Besides being a successful YouTuber, he tried his luck... Show more


Shahjahan Shamim had a status update on Twitter 15 hours 34 minutes ago

RT @SrBachchan: T 3975 - .. travelled .. and the mahurat of first day tomorrow .. a new film a new beginning , a new environ .. 'NEW' never…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page