UK Government: Blackstone announces Chief Inspector of Adult Learning Inspectorate

August 4, 2000

Education and Employment Minister Baroness Blackstone today

announced the appointment of David Sherlock as Chief Inspector of the Adult

Learning Inspectorate (ALI).

Mr Sherlock is currently the Chief Inspector of the Training

Standards Council. ALI, which starts operation in April 2001, will bring together

the inspection of adult education and work-based training into a single new


Baroness Blackstone said:

"I am very pleased to welcome David Sherlock as the

Chief Inspector of the ALI. As Chief Inspector of the Training Standards Council

he has shown commitment to raising the standard of work-based training. He possesses

the energy and determination to deliver the aims and objectives of the new inspectorate.

"It is essential that we secure as rigorous an inspection

regime for adult education as OFSTED provides for schools. David has already

worked closely with both the Further Education Funding Council and OFSTED, and

will use this experience to work with further education colleges, employers,

LEAs and other training organisations to set a new agenda for improving the

quality of post-16 education."

Mr Sherlock said:

"Its a great honour to be the countrys first Chief

Inspector of Adult Learning. The Learning and Skills Act signals a change of

direction. What is best for each individual learner may be a course in a public

sector college, a training programme with a private sector employer, or basic

skills and e-learning in the community. Adult learners should be able to make

reliable comparisons between these different kinds of provision, so that they

can find the best possible deal."

Nick Reilly, Chair of the ALI said:

“David Sherlock was selected from a very strong group of

candidates for the

Chief Inspector’s role which is testament to his skills, experience and

leadership. I have been very impressed with the work he

has done at the

Training Standards Council. He has built up the respect

of employers,training providers, colleges and a wide network of organisations

with which he will work in the future.

"I am confident that with David at the helm, the ALI will add a lot of value to the new world of post-16 learning and help to achieve the ambitious targets that are essential to raising both the capability and the inclusiveness of the nation.”


  1. Mr Sherlock, 56, has been the Chief Inspector of the

    Training Standards Council since it came into being in 1997. He has considerable

    experience in both education and inspection. Between 1975 and 1993, he was

    Deputy Director of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Principal

    at Londons Central St Martins College of Art & Design, as well as Development

    Director of the Royal College of Art, London. Mr Sherlock was also a partner

    in a design consultancy, Design Ergonomics, which worked with major companies

    in healthcare. Mr Sherlock has not undertaken any political activity in the

    last five years.

  2. The appointment is on a full-time basis. Salary £80,000

    to £95,000 per annum.

  3. The inspections currently undertaken by the FEFC inspectorate

    will be undertaken by OFSTED and the ALI, and the work currently undertaken

    by the Training Standards Council will be undertaken solely by the ALI. The

    ALI will also inspect learndirect provision delivered through learndirect

    centres. The responsibilities of OFSTED will be extended to the inspection

    of all 16 to 19 year-olds education in schools and colleges. Where both the

    ALI and the schools inspectorate OFSTED have an interest in one college the

    inspection will be conducted jointly by a single team of inspectors. They

    will produce one report under a common inspection framework.

  4. Nick Reilly was appointed Chair of the ALI on 4 July

    2000 (PN 309/00).

  5. The creation of the ALI, which will be based in Coventry,

    was contained within the Learning and Skills Act which received Royal Assent

    on 28 July 2000 (PN 353/00).