A really interesting article appeared in FE News yesterday about the 20% off-the-job training requirement and Ofsted’s take on it. Essentially, Paul Joyce, OfSTEDs Deputy Director of Further Education and Skills, stated that 20% is an ESFA requirement, not OfSTEDs.
When will OfSTED look at the 20% Off Job Training?
This will only happen if OfSTED doesn’t feel that the learners they inspect are getting enough suitable training and knowledge and that there is evidence of a lack of delivery. OfSTED is very clear about the progress of learners:
Staff work with learners to ensure that teaching, learning and assessment are tailored to enable all learners to make good progress and prepare for their next steps
Learners are making good progress towards meeting or exceeding the standards expected
Learners are set challenging goals, given their starting points, and are making good progress towards meeting or exceeding these
It is clear from what he said that OfSTED is looking for quality, not quantity. However, this still leaves providers with having to ensure that the 20% of the job training is delivered and recorded.
Advice on the 20% Off the Job Training
One of the things we have advised is to ensure that apprentices have a learning plan at the start of their programme, which sets out the off-the-job training you know will take place. This could be day or block release sessions, tutorials, or ad hoc courses. Once you have this you and the learner will know how much the shortfall will be and what must be achieved either by you or the learner. It shouldn’t be too much; if it is planned correctly, your programme can easily meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement.
The difficulty comes when you need the learner or the employer to record additional activities. A paper diary could be useful, or a smartphone app. We have considered developing an app to do this but haven’t fully committed as there has been so much debate about the 20% we thought it best to see what direction is taken.
Nevertheless, we thought it was useful to bring you OfSTED’s position. If you want to hear the full interview you can listen to the podcast on FE News.