For any system to progress, there has to be a body regulating how well such a system maintains or lives up to its objectives. This is why OFSTED inspections exists, to ensure that the student’s interests are a priority in the educational sector like colleges.
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) investigates the educational system and processes. Colleges, being educational institutions, need to be monitored to ensure the overall progress of the students, who have to constantly grow in academics and character.
Why Do Colleges Need OFSTED Inspections?
The priority of every educational institution should be the students’ growth. This is what OFSTED watches out for. In an attempt to achieve this, OFSTED inspections created four criteria by which to inspect schools and colleges. These criteria include:
I) Quality education
II) Behavior and character
III) personal development
IV) Leadership and management
The kind of education that a college student is exposed to should be a relatable and practicable one. They should be provided with a conducive learning environment, provided with adequate research centers, and exposed to healthy competitions that will stimulate their intelligence. Also, the intention, implementation, and impact of the curriculum must be in favor of the students.
Behavior and Character
In an academic institution, the behavior and character of the student must be formed appropriately. OFSTED attempts to investigate how disciplined the college management is, and the measures they take in fighting crimes and punishing students who break the law. Students must come out of college well-formed, not just with good grades, but also with a high level of morality. They must have positive attitudes towards their education and stay committed to learning.
The student must be able to grow as a person and not just as a student. Aside from the training, college students are subjected to at school, a level of independence should be ingrained in their consciousness. They must understand that as adults, they have to make some decisions themselves and be ready to account for the consequences of their own decisions. The school must expose them to their potential talents and teach them to build these talents. They should be prepared for the future, and how they can succeed in it.
Leadership and Management
The educational system must have a leader and management that manages the student and staff properly. The management must have shared values that generate a common understanding of how to foster the quality of the education that students receive. The management must ensure that teachers carry out their responsibilities in the best manner. It must also see that its staff and students are well protected and secured.
The above four measures of judgment are adequate reasons for the OFSTED inspection of colleges. Any college that is found wanting in any of the above-mentioned measures is not good enough. This is what the Office for Standards in Education tries to control. It attempts to ensure that colleges are not lacking in any of the measures because each measure is an indispensable part of an educational system.
How Often Does the Office for Standard in Education Inspect College?
According to Kate Parker in Tes Magazine, for the last ten years, the OFSTED had not carried out a full inspection on twenty-two colleges, seven colleges have not been inspected all, and fifteen have only had curriculum or monitoring visits. This is because these colleges are rated as ‘Outstanding.’
From the above, we can say that the OFSTED inspections of colleges depend on their previous ratings. Inspectors use the following grading system to make their judgments.
I) Grade 1 means a college is outstanding.
II) Grade 2 means a college is good
III) Grade 3 means a college needs improvement
IV) Grade 4 means a college is inadequate.
So, it is only natural that colleges with outstanding ratings would not be inspected frequently. They would undergo the ‘Section 8 Inspection’ which has no graded judgment. However, colleges rated as Grade 3 and Grade 4 undergo the ‘Section 5 Inspection’ which has graded judgments. Colleges with outstanding ratings are inspected once every four years, while the colleges with poor ratings would be inspected more frequently.
What is the Impact of the Office for Standards in Education Inspection?
As stated in the introductory part of this essay, when a system is left unchecked, especially by an external body, there is a tendency that consciously or unconsciously, that system will derail from its set goals and objectives, and lose track of its progress. So, the OFSTED through its inspections ensures that the educational system designs a good curriculum, implements the curriculum, and ensures that it has a good impact on the overall development of the students.
This way, colleges are conscious of what they teach. They become intentional about how they go about the overall interests of students, knowing that the OFSTED can come knocking at their door anytime. Hence, many colleges are always on guard, so as not to be caught unawares. This somehow leads to the management, staff, and students’ progress.
The overall impact of the OFSTED inspection is that students become the priority of the school, and every effort of the school is channeled towards giving them the best. By extension, society progresses, as well-formed young adults are the ones taking over the various sectors of society. From the aforementioned, we can say that any society that wants to grow must take proper care of its educational system.
The Office for Standards in Education inspections, through its ratings, gradings, and judgments, has resulted in the efficiency and effectiveness of many colleges, which otherwise might not be living up to their aims and objectives.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How long does a college inspection last?
The section 5 inspections usually last two days, while section 8
inspections last for one day.
2) During OFSTED inspections, are students also interrogated?
Yes. Students are questioned to know how their curriculum benefits them, how they are being taught, and if their non-academic needs are being met among others.
3) Should parents be aware of the OFSTED inspections and ratings?
Yes. Parents are aware of these ratings. It guides their decision on what academic institution is best for their child.