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January Insights

Usually, with a ‘good’ Ofsted report, there is no expectation of a return for four to five years. Recently, a GFE college inspected in May 2022 as good saw inspectors return in September 2023, downgrading the outcome to requires improvement. The college was not expecting a return visit, so what triggered this? The FE press featured the report
but did not conclude.

A few hints in the published report offer clues that all providers need to be aware of. Firstly, in safeguarding, the report stated “too much variability with safeguarding processes,” and while not good practice, it was hardly RI as no learners were identified at risk. The second area is regarding governance, the report noted “moved from a local to a group governance structure”, so a change of structure. Somehow, Ofsted realised governance had changed and decided to reinspect reporting that it was too soon to see the impact. We know from experience a few providers drop or significantly change governance following inspection. The above example suggests this can attract a new full inspection.

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