In our previous video in this series of videos on Curriculum Intent, Ofsted’s Chris Jones gave us his thoughts on how Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact all fit together, as well as the importance of LMI, and how he sees apprenticeships fitting into it all.
In our latest video, we caught up with Gavin O’Meara, CEO of FE News, to get his thoughts on what the new Education Inspection Framework means for colleges, and how the sector needs to more fully embrace data, and its potential for improving the career paths of learners, the supply of skills for employers, and the economic and social benefits that follow for communities, regions and the nation as a whole. A transcript of Gavin’s comments is below the video:
What do you think of the changes Ofsted have brought in with the new inspection framework?
I think that the changes which Ofsted have brought in are really, really interesting, particularly with where we go from frameworks to standards. We’ve got the three ‘I’s that Ofsted are mentioning, which are Intent, Implementation and Impact, and I think what’s really interesting is the underpinning of all of that is going to be the Intent: Where we can move to with learners, and what that’s actually going to mean about their learner journey?
Curriculum design has always been there, and it’s been part of the FE system from the very beginning, but what’s really interesting is where we’re moving into. The frameworks were very structured, and you had to deliver against certain parameters. But the new standards are very much tailored around the individual learners needs and moving things forward.
That’s really, really interesting because it means we can then design curriculum which meets learners needs, can meet the needs of local employers, and we can meet the needs and develop qualifications and career paths for people really quite intelligently. It’s really exciting, I think that’s a really great way that we’re moving forward as a sector.
How well do you think colleges in general utilise LMI in curriculum planning?
The sector has always really been interested in being able to meet learners’ ongoing growth needs, also the local employers’ needs. But the sector utilising data, to use Ofsted terms, has always “required improvement”.
We need to embrace technology; we need to be able to see what those independent sources of information are. There’s been some really, really great examples that I’ve seen across the sector where people have been really intelligent in utilising labour market information. There are others who still need to catch up with that, or to explore what the different sources of data will be. But on the whole, the sector is embracing it really positively and really exploring what that can mean. I just think there’s a lot more that we can do.
There’re so many different ways that we can utilise data which people are still exploring and expanding ways of doing ithat. I think that the more we expand, the more we investigate what that means, the better it’s going to be for the learner, the better it’s going to be for their career paths, the better it is going to be for the employer, for our region and for the UK plc. So, we really do need to be more intelligent with how we utilise data.
In addition to Ofsted compliance, why should the sector be embracing localised LMI?
Labour Market Insight and data is really, really interesting and really exciting. It does tick an Ofsted box, but there is a much bigger opportunity than that, particularly for colleges and providers to look really independently, to be able to say these are the needs which employers want, these are the skills that they need, these are the skills that are mapped out in our region, and this is why and how we can develop these curricula. I think this is why curriculum intent is really interesting.
To find out more about how LMI can help your college to achieve curriculum intent, why not sign up to our webinar series where we’ll be exploring this in more detail?