November Insights 2023

Nationally, across the FE sector, the proportion of inspections RI or poor is slowly rising. Why? Is it that Ofsted is becoming more critical, provision is getting weaker or something completely different? Is there a pattern or a trend? The analysis is fascinating. When we ‘run the numbers’ again and look at FIN members for the same period, we are pleased to report the statistics look very different. In contrast, of our members nationally, over 76% achieve good or better. From our FIN analysis, the longer members are with us, the better the inspection outcome, with five recent Grades 1’s as a good example.

Across the sector, most have been through inspection within the past five years, so the experience is fresh in the mind. For this group, one issue faced by nominees can be complacency following an inspection. It can be challenging for the nominee to continue to focus business leaders on quality, compliance and evidencing the impact of provision. When a good result is achieved, the focus often turns to revenue and growth. This becomes a time for vulnerability; weaker practice takes hold, and sometimes, corners are cut.

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