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Sample LIS publications
LIS guidance note on self assessment
LIS exemplar position statement on equality and diversity
Inter-relationship between QI and SAR cycles
LIS guidance note on SSAs at tier 1 and 2
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Welcome to LIS online...



Who and what is the Learning Improvement Service?

The Learning Improvement Service was set up at the beginning of 2013 by Phil Hatton following several years working as an Ofsted HMI and National Adviser. Through his survey and advisory work for Ofsted and previous inspectorates, Phil has a detailed understanding of the best practice in the FE sector and was rated outstanding on the two times he himself was inspected. He wants to cut through the ‘barriers’ that prevent colleges and other providers of training from improving the learning experience they provide to their post-16 learners. The Service only wants to work with those who have a real will to improve their provision, by understanding where they are and where they want to be in the future. Real improvement work is not just a ‘patch up’ to get through an inspection, but helps to make sustainable improvements. Phil will do much of the work himself, but where the Service requires others to deliver what is required to improve a college or provider they will only be the best people, those who know what they are doing, because they have done it themselves. Below is a brief summary of the main ways that the Service can support you (however, please contact us if you require something else, such as bespoke training for governors or support for key new managerial staff to transform learning or quality improvement):

  Using best practice and observation to help individual institutions in the sector achieve consistently good or outstanding teaching, learning and assessment

  Developing observation systems and training to improve teaching, learning, assessment and support – ensure that your observation system features as a strength during inspection rather than an area for development which is too often the case

  Carrying out mock inspections or curriculum audits of specific areas within a college or provider including joint observations where required – for example, subcontracted provision, English and mathematics, functional skills, equality and diversity, etc.

  Carrying out themed ‘walk-throughs’ to understand aspects of delivery and suggest improvements – for example, introductions to lessons, checking of learning, target setting, etc.

  Identifying existing good practice within a college or provider and planning how to implement it in other areas

  Developing quality improvement policies and systems, such as course or programme reviews

  Supporting leaders, managers and governors to understand their role and part in monitoring performance and promoting improvement

  Sharing exemplary practice and systems in self-assessment and development planning with you, leading to quality improvement actions that really move you forward

  Support for writing exemplary self-assessment reports and position statements for key areas of your provision (the right position statement will signpost inspectors to the key points and supporting evidence about particular areas and demonstrate that you know your provision)

  Conducting a confidential ‘health check’ of your organisation by two of the top and most experienced very recent HMIs (and previously lead inspectors with the FEFC, TSC and ALI)

  Preparation for short notice inspection (including the different aspects and SSAs) and supporting nominees to show your provision in its best light

  Take the angst out of short notice inspection by developing ‘inspection ready’ files that can be quickly updated when you receive ‘that call’

  Developing the capacity to effectively manage and improve delivery of subcontracted provision

  Providing a ‘critical friend’ service to check and validate self-assessment, observations of teaching and other key quality processes such as course reviews – confirmation that you are moving in the right direction

  Providing resources that really impact to help you improve particular areas of your work such as equal opportunities and diversity

  Providing equal opportunities and diversity training including embedding in teaching and learning

  Supporting your post-inspection action planning and capacity to rapidly improve your provision and move grades up

  Providing ‘Masterclasses’ in key areas that are often cited as areas for improvement during inspection. As well as exploring the key points of ‘how to’ do things well you will be provided with resources that will deliver improvements and can be adapted by the institutions that attend conferences, or who have individual delivery in their colleges or provider premises