From education to employment

Innovative ways to improve Ofsted grades in response to drop in FE ratings

Further education and skills inspector and leader Marina Gaze

FURTHER education inspection expert Marina Gaze (ex Ofsted deputy director for FE and skills) has partnered with additional learning needs expert CognAssist to share insider knowledge on improving Ofsted grades.

Ofsted statistics for 2016/17 showed the number of independent learning providers and colleges rated good or outstanding had fallen from the previous year.

The partnership aims to raise awareness of how further education and skills providers can improve Ofsted grades by addressing additional learning needs.

Further education and skills inspector and leader Marina Gaze said:

“The most recent Ofsted inspection statistics showed independent learning providers and colleges that had declined to ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ had issues including identifying underperformance accurately, slow learner progression and a general decline in quality of provision.

“Greater emphasis must be given to each individual learner’s requirements and each learner should be supported with high expectations to achieve.

“Providers that moved up to ‘outstanding’ this year had established a culture of high expectations for all, learners made significant progress and achieved qualifications, plus, trainers were highly skilled, knowledgeable and provided good support and guidance.

“For me, it’s about being able to work with providers, and being able to help them improve their offer to learners, and improve people’s life through learning.”

Launched in 2016 CognAssist has assessed over 10,000 learners to date using a bespoke learning needs profiling system. Approximately 2,400 of these learners were identified as having an additional learning need. Responding with tailored learning strategies has seen these learners succeed in their studies with confidence. 

Marina concluded by encouraging senior leaders of further education and skills providers to register for the upcoming webinar series:

“The webinar has been created to give senior leaders the tools to demonstrate a commitment to learners. Evidencing this may not only help improve Ofsted grades, but can also help you access funding.

“Nominees and leaders involved in the inspection process will find the webinar series useful with practical advice that you can start putting into action straight away, helping your establishment on the path to being recognised as outstanding.”

For more information about CognAssist and the upcoming Ofsted webinar series with Marina Gaze sign up here

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