The report aims to illustrate and evaluate the Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement processes, procedures and initiatives taken by Further Education Providers, with Newcastle College FE as example for providing excellent educational services for students. Further, the report gives a personal review and analysis the role of tutor in the quality cycle
Definition of quality assurance
According to the International Organisation for Standardisation “Quality assurance is a set of activities intended to establish confidence that quality requirements will be met” (Praxiom, 2011)
Why is quality important in education?
In recent years quality assurance in education has become a very important factor in conjunction to governmental response to restore economic growth. John Hays, Minister of state for Further Education (FE), Skills and Lifelong Learning (jointly with the Department for education) has pointed out his speech on 15 June 2011, that “the lack of right skills leaves people excluded” from the labour market and highlighted the importance for further educational providers in improving basic skills, demanded by employers to compete globally against Asian counties (BIS 2011). From the statement above it can be seen that Self Assessment in a vital part of quality assurance in further education.
Newcastle College is also a member of LSIS, the sector led learning and skills improvement service, who give an example on how to use a Quality Cycle for self assessment to plan self assessment actions for all staff involved (see appendix 1).
Staff involvement Key Processes in Quality Assurance Structures and System
1 Internal Quality Self-Assessment
Newcastle College sees Internal Quality Self-Assessment as a key strategic driver for improving the learner experience and the quality of operations. Self assessment process at Newcastle College is a “management led strategic objective” with the commitment to continuous improvements and fully supports OFSTED requirements for regular and robust self assessment against the Common Inspection Framework and consists of quality review data to the quality assurance process of three areas (Newcastle College Quality Reference Manual, 2011 issue 3 and 4)
How is quality assurance data collected?
SA includes the following data:
• School Assessment Reports (SAR) and Quality Improvement Action Plans completed at end of academic year • Course Self-Assessment: Course Self Assessment Proforma which is subject to validation and completion by • Learner satisfaction questionnaire
The College SAR Report will is produced by the Head of Quality I Performance in October/November and submitted electronically to the Skills Funding Agency (Newcastle Quality Reference Manual 2011, issue 3 and 4).
2.Teaching & Learning Observation
A key performance process of Quality and Assurance System at Newcastle College is the observation of teaching and learning (OTL). Observation grades are recorded in grade profiles on the college internal system to be used in the Self Assessment Report (SAR) (Newcastle College Blackboard 2011)
Tutor need to provide the following data for observations, which is also recorded on the intranet (pro achieve system) to be used for as a key performance indicator for the SAR.
1. Scheme of Work
2. Lesson Plan
3. Record of Learner Progress (ILP/PLPs)
4. Learning Material
5. Course/Unit File/Rational
6. Group Profile
7. Proof of learner attendance
8. Minutes if Course meeting
9. Every Child Matters documentation
10. Tutorial Records
11. Records of initial assessment
12. Details of staff qualification
13. Additional learning support documents
Newcastle College offers FE, HE and ER Students to tell their view about the quality of the learning experience they have made. Survey questionnaire can be...