Further education colleges across the UK have begun to realise the full effects of being part of OFSTED’s regime.Two of the first three colleges to be inspected have been found wanting, and will be partially, or wholly, re-inspected.
Margaret Hodge, Lifelong Learning and Higher Education Minister, says ‘this simply isn’t good enough’ and has warned that if the two colleges with poor reports do not improve rapidly, she can choose from a range of measures to drive their progress.
These could include bringing in outside expertise, withdrawing funding from failing departments, establishing new governing bodies or mergers with other institutions.
Following a modernisation of 16-19 education, OFSTED has since April been the main inspecting body for colleges as well as schools.
Its first three reports have described Brooklands College in Surrey as satisfactory, Teesside Tertiary College in Middlesborough satisfactory on education but unsatisfactory in leadership and management, and Redbridge College in London as inadequate overall.
Redbridge and Teesside now have two months to draw up a plan to turn round their institutions, helped by a promise of funding and support from the Learning and Skills Council, the new single funding provider for 16-19 education, whether in school or FE college.