Planning for Ofsted? 10 things you NEED to know
Ofsted has been around for 25 years now.
In 1992, Ofsted was first introduced to inspect all state-funded schools. Since then a lot has changed, and Ofsted is now responsible for maintaining training quality across all ages – from childminders to adult learning organisations.
Ofsted is always growing and shifting. This means if you have anything to do with training, you need to stay in the loop.
So what can you do to stay compliant? Well, 'so what' is the optimal phrase here.
Alan Hinchcliffe, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors at Ofsted, said at AELP's Dissemination of Ofsted event that 'so what' are Ofsted's 2 favourite words. He explained that during inspections, providers need to show Ofsted how their training impacts learners – Ofsted wants to know 'so what?'.
So when you're showing Ofsted the systems or policies you have in place, imagine they're constantly asking 'so what', and demonstrate how this impacts learners and improves the quality of delivery. When you've got that down, you'll be heading straight for an 'outstanding' rating.
This is a new approach for everyone, but if you use an eportfolio, you're halfway there.
At OneFile, our eportfolio is designed to support Ofsted outstanding, so you're always ready answer those 'so what' questions. Check our top 10 examples:
1. Learners have access to progress charts – so what? Using progress dashboards keeps learners engaged as they can track their progression and see what tasks they have still to complete. You can use OneFile to evidence increased engagement through timely completion rates.
2. Trainers can create plans for each learner – so what? This shows Ofsted that you plan and review as part of your working practice and adapt resources and activities to support those with learning difficulties.
3. Feedback is delivered online and in person – so what? Learners receive a range of feedback to help them through their programme. Online feedback can be sent instantly, rather than waiting for face-to-face visits – so learners always have the support they need, when they need it. Verbal feedback can also be uploaded as an audio file so there's a full record available for audit. Ofsted inspectors can use OneFile to gather evidence of feedback, and see how feedback has impacted learners via interviews and surveys.
4. Learning resources are shared via a VLE – so what? This shows Ofsted that you've thought about how different people learn, and invested in a solution to support everyone. You can show that learners can access a range of quality materials that stretch and challenge them – then their achievements can be mapped against criteria to demonstrate advanced learning.
5. Managers can report on activity across the centre – so what? OneFile has over 70 preloaded reports designed for Ofsted inspections. These enable managers to target at-risk learners and give them the extra support they need to get them back on track. Feedback and performance are recorded in the learner's portfolio, so you can demonstrate the tangible results of this extra support.
6. Learners can record entries in an online journal – so what? Learners have the freedom to reflect on their learning and take an active role in how they learn. This provides the best possible account of learning.
7. Managers can track staff professional development – so what? This ensures staff are always up to date and qualified to deliver programmes, so learners receive the best quality training. With OneFile, centres can track staff CPD activities and store certificates to show Ofsted.
8. Learners can capture evidence offline using a mobile app – so what? Learners can use a range of media to collect evidence of their learning easily wherever they are – even when they're offline. This makes learning convenient, flexible and accessible – there are no barriers to learning so users are more engaged in their training.
9. Learners are allocated off-the-job training time – so what? As well as complying with the ESFA's new guidelines, off-the-job training shows a strong emphasis on the importance of learning, and enables learners to gain additional skills that'll help them in their role. With OneFile,learners can upload evidence of their extra learning and share it with their trainer and employer – helping all parties stay engaged with the process.
10. Annotations can be added to evidence – so what? Trainers can provide constructive, contextual feedback to the learner on specific aspects of their evidence. OneFile shows all the annotations that have been provided to help the learner reach their final version. This process shows learning taking place and demonstrates how trainers provide feedback and review their approach to support different learners.
OneFile not only meets Ofsted's common inspection framework and helps you answer the 'so what' questions... it also keeps learners engaged and increases achievement rates.
Ready to get an outstanding grade? Download our free guide to find out what other providers think about OneFile, and how it can help you ace your next inspection.
This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.