Inspecting residential provision in further education colleges: guidance for providers
- Part of:
- Ofsted inspections of residential provision in further education colleges
- First published:
- 4 December 2014
Ofsted inspects to ensure colleges meet national minimum standards, and to evaluate how effective the college’s residential provision is.
When you’ll be inspected
You can be inspected at any time the college is open.
Your residential provision will normally be inspected once in a 3 year period. The timing will be related to the outcome of the previous inspection of the college.
If you are found to be requires improvement or inadequate from January 2015 onwards you will be inspected again within 2 years of the last inspection.
Getting notice of an inspection
You’ll get about 3 hours’ notice of the inspection. The lead inspector will phone at around 9am on the day of inspection.
After the call you will be emailed a notification letter and short questionnaire to complete. The lead inspector will also ask you to send a self-assessment if you have one.
Before the inspection
Inspectors will look at all relevant information about the college, including:
- previous inspection reports
- the college website
- any evaluation of the residential provision provided by the college
The national minimum standards lists the documents inspectors will be looking at. Colleges should try to provide these to inspectors at the start of an inspection.
Ofsted runs an annual survey to gather views of learners, parents or carers, and staff in residential colleges. You’ll be asked to send an email or letter to these groups each year to invite them to fill in the online questionnaire. The results of the most recent survey will be used at the next inspection to help identify any areas that need looking at.
During the inspection
The inspector will:
- listen and talk to learners
- observe staff interacting with learners
- talk to staff, including those responsible for leading, managing and organising residential provision or key parts of it
- read policies and see how they are implemented
- observe procedures such as handovers of information between staff
- look at records, case files and other relevant documents
- gather views from interested parties like social workers, placing authorities and teaching staff, as appropriate
- inspect the premises, accommodation, facilities, and health and safety arrangements
The inspection will focus on gathering evidence to make the judgements in the evaluation schedule. Inspectors will make five inspection judgements, which are:
- overall effectiveness
- outcomes for learners
- quality of service
- effectiveness of leadership and management
Inspectors will look at whether you have asked for and acted on the views of residential learners, their parents or carers, staff and placing authorities in reviewing and improving the residential experience for learners under 18 years of age.
The inspector will give you feedback and explain what needs to be done to improve, if necessary. They will be clear about whether your college meets all of the national minimum standards and, if not, which ones have not been met and why.
After the inspection
The inspector will send you a report with your grade within 10 working days of the end of the inspection for a factual accuracy check.
The final report will be published online within 20 working days of the end of the inspection.
After the inspection, you will be invited to complete a short evaluation of the inspection. The responses will be used to improve the quality of our inspections.
College residential provision found to be requires improvement or inadequate from January 2015 onwards will have an improvement visit. Further information about this visit can be found in ‘Support and challenge guidance for colleges with residential provision.
Complain about an inspection
Any concerns you have about the inspection should be raised with the lead inspector during the inspection.
Contact the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 if the concerns are not resolved, or an independent view is sought.
Concerns about the inspection report should be raised with the lead inspector as soon as possible.
Published: 4 December 2014