Ofsted to carry out inspections on Armed Forces training
Ofsted and the Ministry of Defence have forged a new partnership to ensure recruits and trainees experience a high quality of training, welfare and care in the UK's Armed Forces.
Melanie Hunt, Director of Learning and Skills, Ofsted and Bob Ainsworth, the Minister for Armed Forces signed a pledge to work more closely together.
The memorandum of understanding marks a new collaboration between the two departments. The agreement sees Ofsted taking over responsibility for carrying out independent inspections for 2008/09 in education and training. This builds on the work previously undertaken by the Adult Learning Inspectorate between 2004 and 2007.
The focus of the inspections will be on the recruitment and selection of potential recruits, newly recruited entrants and those in training. These are Phase one trainees normally aged between 16 and 24, and Phase Two trainees who have moved on to study a particular trade, such as engineering or catering.
Melanie Hunt, Director of Learning and Skills at Ofsted said:
"Our inspections place the interests and experiences of recruits and trainees at the heart of our work, and consequently we aim to provide insights for the Armed Services to enable their training and support consistently to be of the highest quality."
"This agreement highlights the breadth of Ofsted's remit, having taken on responsibility for adult training in April 2007. It reflects our values and priorities, and enables the impact of inspection to have a wider reach and benefit more people in a range of learning and training environments."
Armed Forces Minister, Bob Ainsworth, said:
"The MOD attaches the highest priority to the welfare of it's people. We are fully committed to developing the most supportive environment for our recruits and trainees. Independent external scrutiny is a key factor in achieving constant improvements in this area. That is why I welcome our new partnership with Ofsted. I am confident it will provide robust oversight and ensure we continue to strive for the highest standards."
Notes for Editors
1. This new agreement builds on extensive inspection and reporting on training, welfare and duty of care formerly undertaken by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI).
2. The Ministry of Defence approached Ofsted and asked it to take on the cycle of external, independent inspection judgements on the quality of training, welfare and duty of care experienced by recruits and trainees in the UK's armed services for academic year 2008/09.
3. The original Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) inspection cycle commenced in 2004. The ALI carried out an initial tri-service (army, navy and RAF) inspection and identified shortcomings in welfare and duty of care. Many far-reaching recommendations for improvement were published by the ALI in March 2005 in a report called Safer Training. A follow-up report published in March 2007, Better Training, identified improvements across the board but fundamental issues still remained.
4. About Ofsted: From 1 April 2007 a new single inspectorate for children and learners came into being. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) has the responsibility for the inspection of adult learning and training - work formerly undertaken by the Adult Learning Inspectorate; the regulation and inspection of children's social care - work formerly undertaken by the Commission for Social Care Inspection; the inspection of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service - work formerly undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Court Administration; and the existing regulatory and inspection activities of Ofsted.
5. The Ofsted Press Office can be contacted on 08456 4040404 between 8am - 6pm Monday - Friday. During evenings and weekends we can be reached on 07919 057359.