Outstanding learning providers to be exempt from inspection
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16 November 2010
The Skills Minister, John Hayes, has announced that, in line with schools and colleges, learning providers who are judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted will be exempt from further inspection for eight years.
In a letter to Peter Lavender, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, Mr Hayes said:
"Delivering renewed prosperity built on sustainable growth depends on building a training system able to respond to the demands of a dynamic economy.
Eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy is not only prudent in these times of limited funds, but is also essential if we are to achieve our potential - as individuals, as an economy and as a country.
To this end, I am strongly committed to the Further Education sector itself taking greater responsibility for quality in FE. My Department and the Skills Funding Agency are working hard to reduce the burdens and bureaucracy associated with previous performance management arrangements.
In June, I announced that FE colleges that are judged to be 'outstanding' following an Ofsted inspection will no longer be subject to inspection unless their performance drops.
I will continue to listen and learn from the sector, extending freedoms wherever they are appropriate. I am now pleased to be able to extend the inspection relaxation to all institutions that are considered 'outstanding', including private providers.
Outstanding private training providers have already proven their ability to manage their own business to deliver the best learning opportunities for learners and employers. They deserve to have the freedom to continue to deliver good quality learning without being restricted by unnecessary bureaucracy.
Extending freedom from inspection does not mean that concerns about performance will go unnoticed. I am confident that there are robust systems in place that will ensure providers are brought back into scope for inspection at any time that their outstanding grade is questioned. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector will retain discretion to inspect where data shows a fall in performance, or where other sources give rise to concerns. This will ensure that learners are protected and public funds are not being wasted.
Private providers' primary responsibility should be to the learner, not the Government. They should be free to focus on meeting learners needs, not Government targets. This will give outstanding providers the freedom they need to build on their success and be more responsive to the skills that employers need and learners want."
Click 'more' go to the NIACE website.