From education to employment

Ofsted Chair delivers landmark lecture at London South East Colleges

Ofsted Chair, Professor Julius Weinberg spoke to staff at London South East Colleges during a visit to the college’s Bromley campus yesterday, reflecting on his first year in post.

Joined by Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman, the pair were given a tour of the college’s industry-standard facilities, meeting staff and students. The College showcased its new digital suite #THEPLATFORM, outstanding SEND provision, technology workshops and hospitality area.

Following the tour, Julius delivered a speech to staff after which he took questions from the audience.

Speaking about his first year in post as Chair of Ofsted, Julius provided insight into the organisation and reflected on his own experiences. He said:

“I am delighted to be here today. I feel it is very important for myself and my colleagues to get out and see what happens in the real world of education.

“As a former medic, I have always been used to ‘being regulated’ and understand the importance of regulation. It’s about protecting the weakest and being a ‘force for improvement’. The role of our board is to be a guardian of Ofsted’s independence, while being supportive, challenging and providing a level of scrutiny.”

The Chair went on to explain more about the structure of Ofsted’s board, praising the organisation as being ‘full of passionate experts’. Julius ended his speech by saying:

“It is no fun being inspected but regulation is important. We try to balance the rigour of inspection with making it a worthwhile process. We want organisations to come out of an inspection as better schools and colleges.”

Commenting on the visit, Stephen Howlett CBE DL, Chair of London South East Colleges, said:

“It has been a pleasure to host Julius and Amanda here today. We are very proud of our students and what we are doing across our college campuses  – so today has been a great opportunity for us to showcase this.

“First-hand insight from Julius and Amanda was extremely interesting. Understanding more about how Ofsted operates at Board level has been particularly useful for me and we will all reflect on these learnings. As a college we want to continue to grow, innovate and develop – ensuring we offer the very best educational and skills development opportunities to all our students.

“I am very grateful to Julius and Amanda for taking the time to visit us today and thank them on behalf of myself and the college.”

London South East Colleges offers over 300 courses at a range of levels, from vocational through to degree, across Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich. 

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