Constructing student outcome and experience indicators for use in Office for Students regulation

ASCL response to consultation on constructing student outcome and experience indicators for use in Office for Students regulation. 
ASCL welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this consultation. Many of our FE college members lead institutions which include higher education, regulated by the Office for Students, and we have sought their views. 

We are not fundamentally opposed to the idea of numerical dashboards, and the dashboard using numerical thresholds proposed by the Office for Students in this consultation is clearly well-researched. However, the proposed dashboard is complex and we feel strongly that, unless providers can fully understand how each of the methods are applied to their organisation and students, and how these methods relate to the definitions proposed, they cannot be expected to improve their outcomes. 

Our concern, as expressed in this consultation response, is that the approach proposed is overly complex and may force organisations to focus more on improving data (for the sake of reputation as reflected in their dashboards) than on improving experiences and outcomes for their individual students.

ASCL believes, as set out in our Blueprint for a Fairer Education System, that education providers cannot be expected to solve deep-seated social and economic inequalities in society as a whole, and therefore any attempt to make them accountable for disadvantage in the wider society is unhelpful. In addition, we believe that major changes should only happen if we are confident that the benefits we will achieve are worth the disruption. 

Full response to consultation