25 March 2010
The Church of England today publishes the follow-up inspection report on one of its ministerial training colleges: Wycliffe Hall. Follow-up reports summarize what action has been taken in response to the recommendations made in the earlier inspection report.
The Church has a long track record of ensuring the quality of the initial training of its clergy by regular inspection of its training institutions. Theological colleges and part-time training courses are inspected every five years by teams of inspectors appointed by the bishops of the Church of England. Where training is delivered ecumenically, Church of England inspectors work in partnership with teams from the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union.
The report published today can be read by clicking on the link to latest reports here.
In October 2008 the Church of England put in place a series of measures to develop its approach to inspection. The main features are:
• In common with other walks of life, to publish inspection reports to inform dioceses, students and other interested parties of the standards being achieved in training institutions and to continue to raise the standard of training;
• To align the outcomes of inspection broadly with those used in Higher Education. From now on, inspections will result in the outcome of ‘confidence’, ‘confidence with qualifications’ or ‘no confidence’.
• To devote more senior staff time to the support of inspection teams, offering enhanced training and support for inspection teams and better quality assurance for the whole process.
A full description of the standards for ‘confidence’, ‘confidence with qualifications’ and ‘no confidence’ is given at the beginning of each report. The first two designations mean that the inspectors regard the institution as having a good standard in its training. In the first, ‘confidence’, institutions generally show good or very good standards with a limited number of recommendations. In the second, the standards are generally good but there are areas to address. If the outcome is ‘no confidence’, then there will be major areas to address within a specified timetable.