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ACL Inspection Consultation

Ofsted have released the results of their recent consultation into Adult & Community Learning Inspection.  Many respondents agreed on the whole with the changes planned (basically the learning & skills inspection framework) but in some areas there were a significant minority who disagreed.  Ofsted have made a few concessions, but overall the same inspection framework will be introduced.  

Significant differences are:

There is some debate from September 2010 as to what is in scope for inspection.  A new category of learning, informal adult learning, will be introduced at this time and it is unclear how ACL providers will be inspected after this time.

Risk Assessment - More work will be done on developing and testing the risk assessment methodology to select providers for inspection including the results of the Framework for Excellence pilot in adult and community learning.

Telephone Planning - Ofsted have conceded that face-to-face planning will be the preferred choice for large and complex providers, with telephone planning being used wherever feasible.  It will be interesting to see if the experience of ACL providers reflects this.

Outcomes - Ofsted will review the outcomes that are measured in the ACL inspections to take account of the full range of potential measures.  They are also considering the training given to inspectors to ensure they have the right level of knowledge.

Ofsted will be adding additional guidance to the Handbook for the inspection of further education and skills from September 2009, to incorporate ACL.  You can download the full response to the consultation from the Ofsted website.

The response to the DWP consultation is currently being written, so watch out for that in the near future.


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