How Ofsted will inspect CEIAG in Further Education from September 2019 – updated May 2019

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This morning saw the release of the consultation for the new Ofsted inspection framework. The consultation runs until the 5th April so changes may be made but here is what Ofsted are proposing when inspecting CEIAG in Further Education settings from September 2019.

The Education Inspection Framework sets out that the 4 categories of judgement (Grade 1 – Outstanding, Grade 2 – Good, Grade 3 – Requires Improvement and Grade 4 – Inedequate) remain. For Further Education settings the 7 sub-sections of each inspection (quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, education programmes for young people, adult learning programmes, apprenticeships) will also receive a 1-4 grading.

In Further Education the Personal Development section will have the most relevance to CEIAG as within those the Inspectorate will be looking at

  • how the curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational and providers for learners’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents
  • at each stage of education, how the provider prepares learners for future success in their next steps

The real detail though of what Inspectors will be looking for when they walk through the doors of a College can found in the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook. This sets out the type and frequency of inspection that a provider should expect dependent on their current grade. If the provider is expecting a Short Inspection (usually those with a current grade 2) then they should still expect their CEIAG provision to be inspected (para 128 and para 136) with the technical note explaining

Section 41 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 requires that Ofsted ‘comment[s]’ on careers guidance provided to students in further education colleges, sixth-form colleges and designated institutions. The Act defines students for this purpose as those aged 16 to 18 and those up to the age of 25 who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan. While the statutory duty applies only to the inspection of the above institutions, inspectors will inspect and comment in similar fashion on careers advice on short and full inspections of all further education and skills providers as appropriate. If there are no 16- to 19-year olds or those with EHC plans, the inspection may not cover careers guidance.

If a regular inspection occurs then the focus on CEIAG comes when inspectors consider the quality of the education programmes for young people (para 172) and the Personal Development of learners (para 216). Surprisingly, CEIAG is not mentioned in the “Outstanding” grade descriptor for Personal Development but is in the “Good” descriptor

The provider prepares learners for future success in education, employment or training by providing: unbiased information to all about potential next steps; high-quality, up-to-date and locally relevant careers guidance, and opportunities for encounters with the world of work

Progression and collaboration with partners to ensure learners move onto positive, suitable and sustained destinations also forms a part of the evaluation for Adult Learning Programmes and Apprenticeships sections.

It is disappointing to see that no research evidence on the value of CEIAG is included in the accompanying research overview document that sets out the evidence rationale for the new Inspection framework. Even just a link to or small mention of work already carried out by the CEC in this area would have been very welcome.

The media coverage of the new Framework has focussed on the increased time that Inspectors will spend in schools for “short” inspections and limited notice time schools and colleges will get before the Inspector arrives. I welcome the extended time for spent on short inspections as, practically, it means that Inspectors are much more likely to look at CEIAG provision but this is Ofsted preforming a balancing act with it’s decresing funding. It is good to see that CEIAG should still be included as part of short Further Education inspections and reported on as well as full but the real proof will be in the awareness and knowledge of HMI in the DfE Careers Guidance for FE and the Gatsby Benchmarks. Those Inspectors fully versed in these landscape moulding frameworks will be the most successful in appreciating and interrogating the evidence base they find themselves through learner and parental feedback and the evidence base offered to them by College Careers Leaders.

MAY 2019 UPDATE –

The link to the final published Further Education and Inspection skills handbook is here accompanied by a summary of the changes between consultation and publication from FE Week. Much remains the same between the consultation and final publication and from previous years and this means CEIAG retains a central place in monitoring visits of any nature. Paragraphs 123 and 128 retain the commitment to evaluate

whether careers education and guidance are of a good quality

Through the rest of the handbook CEIAG is a pivotal aspect of provision Ofsted will assess either through the quality of the offer of education the College is providing to young people or when considering the impact of that work

 All learning builds towards an end point. Learners are being prepared for
their next stage of education, training or employment at each stage of
their learning. Inspectors will consider whether learners are ready for their
next steps.
 Inspectors will also consider whether learners are ready for the next stage
and are going to appropriate, high-quality destinations.

Destinations data as a source of evidence is mentioned throughout, either provided to the Inspectors before or during the inspection or, interestingly

 telephone conversations or other similar discussions with a selection of
learners about their destinations

So have some alumni contacts handy.

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One comment

  1. A great summary😀

    Dr Deirdre Hughes OBEDirector, DMH & Associates Ltd, Exeter, England - http://dmhassociates.org Telephone: 0044 (0) 7533 545057 Twitter: @DeirdreTalks Skype: deirdre.hughes3

    Co-Editor, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling - International Symposium Series 

    Associate Fellow, University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research (IER)

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