The Chief Inspector discussed the apprenticeship landscape, current challenges that providers face and Ofsted’s approach.
The following speech was delivered on 27 March 2019 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
To say that the last few years have marked monumental changes for the apprenticeship market is no exaggeration. We have seen the introduction of the levy, standards, the off-the-job training quota, and of course degree apprenticeships – to name just a few.
This is a heady mix, and understandably, the sector’s had to work hard to adjust.
Since I spoke to you last year, apprenticeships remain in the headlines, and not always for the right reasons. The continuing fall in starts, highlighted again by the National Audit Office (NAO) earlier this month, is still a major cause for concern.
I am well aware that apprenticeship providers have a lot to contend with. The wider context that means that many of you are struggling to make apprenticeships available.
Julie Ashton, senior Her Majesty’s inspector, and Nigel Bragg, Her Majesty’s inspector, explain why good-quality careers guidance should be available to helpyoung people make informed decisions, and outline what Ofsted looks at in inspections when it comes to careers education.
Not so long ago, the career decisions we made as teenagers set us on a path that lasted until we received our free bus pass. For many, the days when we had a job for life are now long gone, yet it’s fair to say that the career decisions we make as young adults are still important.
We can all agree that careers guidance matters. Schools and colleges have a vital role in preparing pupils and young people for life beyond education, and that is not just limited to exam grades. Read more
We invited Ofsted in to our school this week to support the pilot of the new framework, which will come into play in September. The framework is currently open for consultation, and you can find out more information here.
First up, I do need to give some context to this post. This is my own personal opinion and experience of the process. As a school and as a leadership team, we found the process to be a generally positive one, though one which was thorough and challenging. I am keen to emphasise, though, that follows is very much my own personal reflection, as AHT for Upper KS2 and the school’s Curriculum leader. It is also worth noting that is this was a two-day pilot inspection, the actual final framework may or may not differ from this experience.
I want to keep this as a brief and snappy post, so here we go.
In the following blog Chris Jones HMI, Ofsted’s specialist adviser for apprenticeships, blogs about the changing framework, apprenticeship standards and how to record the progress that apprentices make.
The Institute for Apprenticeships is increasing the number of apprenticeship standards available to employers and apprentices.
These changes have been introduced alongside the apprenticeship levy. At present, when an apprenticeship standard isn’t available, apprentices complete the technical and vocational qualifications relevant to an apprenticeship framework
Now, a new model of apprenticeship is emerging and the structure is changing, as I wrote about in a previous blog. This approach is much more occupationally specific and is directly linked to the needs of employers.
Most apprenticeship standards don’t contain qualifications. They focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of the apprentices. An end-point assessment, specific to the apprenticeship standard, validates the standard.
We know that many frameworks will disappear in 2020. Apprenticeship standards will replace the frameworks as part of the apprenticeship reform programme. Most apprentices work at levels 2 and 3, with around 11% of apprentices working at level 4 and above. The proportion working at higher levels is increasing because over 40% of standards are for higher and degree level apprenticeships. For areas like business administration there is no replacement apprenticeship standard at level 2.
It’s clear from the range of frameworks that are still available, that many apprentices working at levels 2 and 3 will continue to work towards an apprenticeship framework for some time, and hence will continue to complete nationally recognised qualifications. Providers and inspectors can compare qualification achievement rates and look for patterns and changes to help them decide how well apprentices are doing.
Because most apprenticeship standards have no qualifications, inspectors and providers must be clear about the different ways of measuring achievement. As inspectors, we need to consider what these changes mean for inspection practice. Read more
The Chief Inspector discussed the importance of promoting British values in schools and Ofsted’s role in making sure this is done well.
Delivered on: (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
The title of this speech, ‘The Ties that Bind’, is not an original phrase. And indeed, as soon as the invitations for this Policy Exchange event went out, we had a call from an understandably bemused Lords Committee clerk wondering why they had not been consulted, because their Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement published a report with this title earlier this year, and for which one of my colleagues gave evidence. So, apologies to Lord Hodgson and his eminent fellow peers – I had not then seen their excellent report, though I have now read it with great interest.
And of course a great deal of overdue thinking and discussion has happened in many quarters in recent years on the difficult subjects of community cohesion, integration, citizenship and British values, by minds far more distinguished than mine. Indeed, when I took up the job of Chief Inspector, I hardly imagined this was a subject I would be spending quite so much time on. But having spent 18 months in what is a fairly hot seat at Ofsted, I have seen quite how much these challenges directly affect our schools.
That is my topic this evening: to explore why the promotion of British values is important in encouraging cohesion and integration, and so why responsibility for promoting them must fall to our schools. And I also want to talk about Ofsted’s role in making sure that schools do this well.
Taking a step back for a few minutes, it was the experience of living and working in the United States, more than 20 years ago, that made me recognise how much the development of a society, and the formation of its public policy, is driven by the values that underlie that society. Even though the UK and the United States are more similar than most, I came to realise how different their underlying values and assumptions were, and still are. And I’m not talking about guns and abortions here – I was most struck then about things like the welfare settlement, and the idea of what education is for. The version of egalitarianism that has been the bedrock of NHS provision and of the English state school system for many decades looks quite strange to many American eyes. And I was genuinely surprised back then by how very differently the word ‘liberalism’ was perceived in America. All this made me look back at and think about Britain in a whole different way.
Sean Harford blogs about how Ofsted assesses the effectiveness of careers guidance on offer.
As exam season comes to a close and results season approaches, many households around the country will be waiting for that slip of paper or email telling them how their young person did and what opportunities are now open to them. It’s an exciting couple of days and the breakfast broadcasts will be full of young people opening those envelopes live on air.
It’s the culmination of a lot of work. By the young person and of course, their teachers. But many organisations and support structures have also contributed to their success and provided advice for what comes next. Parents, local employers, higher education institutions and further education colleges, the Careers and Enterprise Company, the National Careers Service and many others have all played a part in supporting these young people to, hopefully, work hard and make the right decisions for their futures. Part of Ofsted’s role is to assess the effectiveness of the careers guidance offered.
How we inspect careers guidance
We don’t have a preferred style of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for schools, colleges and other education providers we inspect. We do expect, as a standard, that young people will be offered CEIAG that includes guidance on their subject choices, discussion on their career aspirations and how they can achieve them and how they’re progressing towards this. Work experience and guidance on a vocational or academic path and routes post-16 whether those be A levels, training or vocational education should all be available. Read more
Ofsted’s Chief Inspector discusses the future of school inspections, how we use data and ongoing work on a new education inspection framework.
Delivered on: (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
Thank you for inviting me here today.
My speech has been billed as “Developments in Education and Inspection”. A rather broad title, which quite possibly reflects the fact that I hadn’t settled on the topic by the time your programme went to press, and I wanted to keep my options open. Sometimes, genericism does have its advantages.
In fact the choice of topic turns out to be rather apt, given recent developments. Some of you will have seen the NAO [National Audit Office] report on the value for money of our school inspections, published last month. That follows a number of welcome interventions clarifying the role of different actors in the accountability and school improvement landscape. And of course we are currently developing our new Education Inspection Framework which we will be using from September 2019 and which we will be consulting on from January.
All of which means that now is the right time for us to consider not just how we carry out our inspections, but also to ask the more fundamental questions of what school inspection is and who it is for.
It’s easy to forget that the Ofsted of today is a very different organisation to the inspectorate that existed just 15 years ago.
Teachers who have qualified in recent years would hardly recognise the Ofsted model of old. Inspections involved a large team of inspectors who would visit schools for a week. Inspection teams would have within them a wide range of subject expertise, allowing us to comment on individual subjects typically in reports of 50 pages or more.
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