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Ofsted must understand and appreciate the role of colleges, says AoC

8th March 2024

David Hughes 5

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said:

“I am pleased to see Martyn Oliver launch the Big Listen today, and whilst I appreciate that a large area of focus has to be on children, the work colleges do with young people and adults must not be overlooked. Education and training have a vital role in setting people up for life, but also for helping people navigate a changing world and new challenges. Colleges have a unique role across children, young people, adults, skills and working with employers which Ofsted has to learn to both understand and appreciate.

At AoC, we will work with our members to ensure that the college perspective is heard through the consultation period and beyond. Ofsted has a wide remit, and we want to help support Martyn Oliver lead the cultural change we believe is needed and support inspectors to fully understand the complexity of colleges' work. We will be submitting a full response in collaboration with our members. I have been impressed in my initial meetings with Martyn Oliver about his recognition of that cultural change Ofsted needs to go through to ensure it can support colleges to continually improve."