6. Legal context
Inspections of residential provision of FE colleges and the law.
Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, Ofsted carries out its work in ways that encourage the services it inspects and regulates to:
- be user-focused
- be efficient and effective in the use of resources
Section 87 of the Children Act 1989 and the National Care Standards Commission (inspection of schools and colleges) regulations 2002 set out the legal basis for the inspection of residential provision in further education colleges.
[The relevant residential provision of any independent specialist college is also subject to inspection by Ofsted in accordance with additional functions assigned by the Secretary of State in June 2017 and its Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) grant agreement provided it is not registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a care home. Inspection will be carried out in accordance with the SCCIF as set out throughout this guidance.]
When inspecting the residential provision, Ofsted takes into account the knowledge and understanding gained from previous inspections, and to relevant legislation including:
- the Children Act 1989
- the national minimum standards (NMS) for the accommodation of students under 18 by further education colleges
The NMS apply to FE colleges as defined in section 91 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and 16 to 19 academies.
[This also applies to the relevant residential provision of any independent specialist college that is not registered with CQC as a care home in accordance with its ESFA grant agreement.]
Ofsted does not regulate residential provision in FE colleges. This means that, unlike some other types of social care or welfare provision, Ofsted does not inspect residential provision in colleges against a set of regulations or raise actions where such regulations are not met.
Where a college is registered as a care home, the Care Quality Commission inspects the residential provision.
If an inspector identifies that a college is providing residential accommodation for young people aged 16 to 18 years, and this was not previously known to Ofsted, the inspector should email firstname.lastname@example.org; the social care policy team will then notify the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).