About PFE

About PFE


What is PFE?

PFE (Private Further Education) – a division of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) – is an approved Educational Oversight inspection body authorised by the Home Office to inspect privately funded further education colleges and English language schools in England and Wales. PFE is responsible for carrying out inspections of education providers applying for, or renewing, a Tier 4 sponsor licence: a licence granted by the Home Office to education providers to sponsor international students to come to the UK under Tier 4 of the UK immigration points-based system.

There are four Educational Oversight (EO) inspection bodies in England and Wales and separate arrangements in Scotland and Northern Ireland. For more information on the role of PFE and other EO bodies, see Educational Oversight Bodies.

PFE inspections are for the benefit of colleges and learners. Their purpose is to improve the quality and effectiveness of education by helping colleges recognise and build on their strengths and remedy any weaknesses.

PFE inspections are required to:
• report on the extent to which colleges and language schools comply with the published Educational Oversight Standards
• assess and report on the quality of educational outcomes and provision
• where applicable, make recommendations outside the scope of the Standards to support continued improvement of quality

Colleges can apply for an Educational Oversight inspection once a year. See Applying for Educational Oversight for more information.