Ofsted has published further details regarding how their ‘interim visits’ will work over the Autumn period.

The regulator explained that these will not reflect their routine inspections nor will they result in a judgemental grade.

Following an announcement made in July, where Ofsted stated there would be a phased return to routine inspections, following a pause to this activity as a result of COVID-19, full inspections are set to resume in January 2021.

When do the visits start?

September 28th until to the end of December 2020.

What’s the purpose?

Ofsted states these visits are to help learners, parents, employers and the government to ‘understand how providers are meeting the needs of students and apprentices in this period, including learners with high needs and those with special educational needs and disabilities.’

These visits will not change Ofsted grades, however a small report will be published to share the steps being taken to enable learners to resume a full programme of education or training.

If an inspection does raise significant concerns however, this may prompt an early full inspection or monitoring visit.

How long will the visit last and will I get notice?

The interim Ofsted visit will last two working days with a notice period of at least 2 days. If a provider wishes to defer the visit, this should be requested ‘in accordance with our deferral policy.’

What will the interim visits explore?

The inspectors will explore three themes:

  1. What actions are leaders taking to ensure they provide an appropriate curriculum to meet the reasonable needs of learners and stakeholders. What have they adapted due to the current circumstances?
  2. What steps are leaders, managers and other staff taking to ensure the approaches for knowledge building and skills are appropriate to meet the needs of learners?
  3. How are leaders ensuring learners are safe and well informed of potential risks, including from online sources?
Who will be chosen for inspection?

Ofsted aims to prioritise those providers who are deemed ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’, those who the regulator has identified ‘risks and concerns’ about and a sample of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ providers and newly merged colleges.

When will providers hear the results?

Ofsted aims to write to providers within 18 working days of the visit, with a draft report of the inspectors findings. The team when have an additional 5 working days to comment on the draft report, inspection process and findings.

Ofsted will consider these comments and will respond accordingly before sharing the final report with the provider within 30 working days of their visit.

Those who wish to submit a formal complaint, will have until the end of the fifth working day after receiving the final report to do so.

Ofsted normally publishes the report on its website within 38 working days of the end of the visit, however, this could be delayed if a complaint is being investigated.

The regulator stated it may share the provisional findings, before a report is published, with the FE Commissioner, ESFA, DfE, Ofqual, Office for Students or devolved authorities

You can read the full details here

Looking to impress Ofsted? See how outstanding provider, Newcastle and Staffordshire Colleges Group did it here

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