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The 2015-2017 parliament saw the introduction of a number of policies related to employer engagement in the skills sector, most notably the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. Similarly, the passage of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 heralds a further step change in the skills and employment landscape.

On Tuesday 11th of July, the APGSE met to examine the role of Ofsted in the new educational landscape, and to hear more about the new Chief Inspector's priorities for skills and employment. In particular, we debated and discussed how Ofsted will work within an emerging landscape of employer based provision, FE group structures and new providers.

Joining the APGSE at the meeting, which was Chaired by the Rt. Hon Baroness Sue Garden of Frognal, the Liberal Democrat’s Lords Spokesperson on Higher & Further Education and Skills, was Ofsted's Paul Joyce.

Paul is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and is the Deputy Director for Further Education & Skills. Paul joined Ofsted in 2005 as HMI having previously worked within the Further Education and Skills sector in both general and specialist further education colleges.

Immediately prior to working for Ofsted, Paul was a consultant for the former Department for Education and Skills and worked on national initiatives supporting improvements to teaching and learning and in leadership and management.

The meeting was an in-depth and free flowing discussion, which, among a variety of issues, focused around three broad questions:

  1. What changes has Amanda Spielman sought to bring to Ofsted since replacing Sir Michael Wilshaw as Chief Inspector?
  2.   How does Ofsted foresee its role in light of the move towards more employer based provision?
  3.  What challenges, and opportunities, does Paul foresee emerging for the Inspectorate in light of significant, and ongoing, reform?