‘Optimistic’ Ofsted report encouraging for FE and Skills sector

11 December 2013

The latest Annual Report on Further Education and Skills in England from Ofsted shows optimism about the way providers have responded to the challenges of the previous year’s report with more (71%) being graded good or outstanding.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“It is encouraging that there is optimism across the sector and that more providers are performing better than last year.  The number of learners in provision graded less than good has fallen from more than a third to a quarter. It is also good to see outstanding provision found in providers of all types: colleges, local authorities and specialist and independent providers.

“However, despite the fall, I am worried that a quarter of learners are in provision graded less than good. This is still far too high. And I am even more worried that the work in prisons has been singled out as having the largest proportion of inadequate provision.

“The report also found that too much provision is not sufficiently responsive to local employment need, regardless of the quality of teaching and that the Apprenticeship system is still failing to meet its full potential. 

“Sir Michael Wilshaw has identified where change is needed and NIACE is ready to support providers and other stakeholders to make those changes. In particular we are keen to work to develop systems to ensure better overview and accountability for local provision.”

NIACE has a current programme of work in localities and with Local Enterprise Partnerships to strengthen local accountability for learning and skills. In partnership with UKCES we are running a series of seminars on how to use labour market intelligence to help shape local provision. Bookings are  still open for the events to be held in London on 14 January and York on 17 January.