Ofsted watch: A quiet summer of good news

Ofsted watch: A quiet summer of good news

This week has seen an all-too-rare period of all good news when it comes to Ofsted inspections. 

The heaviest hitter in the last full week in August is probably TTE Training, an independent learning provider based in Ellesmere Port, which went from a ‘good’ grade at its last inspection to an ‘outstanding’ this time around.

Specialising in petrochemical and chemical engineering, TTE was found to “have successfully established a culture of very high expectations throughout”. “Apprentices’ achievements are outstanding; almost all apprentices complete their apprenticeships by the planned end date”, though its 16-to-19 provision was only graded ‘good’ – the only dip in an otherwise unblemished record. Otherwise, leaders, managers, tutors and apprentices at the 290-learner ITP all come in for fulsome praise, as do links with industry and outcomes.

TTE Training wasn’t the only provider to improve this week, either. The high street opticians chain Vision Express, an employer-provider to 58 learners, picked itself up from a grade 3 to a grade 2 across the board.

It was singled out for the “high proportion of learners” who “make good progress, achieve their apprenticeship and continue in full-time employment” and the “good support and care” that apprentices receive to “help them to succeed to their full potential”. 

There is still clearly room to improve, however: “Not all apprentices receive impartial information, advice and guidance prior to starting their apprenticeships. In a small number of cases this means that they do not have a good understanding of the programme prior to joining it.”

What’s more, “assessors do not routinely challenge all apprentices to achieve their full potential in English and mathematics”, but the outlook is largely rosy.

Otherwise, HYA Training, a Hull-based independent training provider owned by the Humberside Youth Association Charity and specialising in training vulnerable youth, maintained its ‘good’ rating across the board. Amongst the factors picked out for special mention include the commitment of the staff, who “provide exceptionally good support to learners”, enabling them “to overcome their multiple disadvantages to produce work of a high standard and develop their skills well”. 

Leaders, meanwhile, “have a strong vision for the future” and “a clear strategic aim” to keep helping young people “whose educational options are limited”. The learners themselves “make good progress from their often low starting points” and “most achieve their main qualifications”, with the help of “high-quality feedback from tutors that encourages them to improve the quality of their work and to be enthusiastic about learning”.

Finally, Learning Curve Group, a large provider from Bishop Auckland in the north-east, also maintained its ‘good’ grade following a short inspection in July. It is credited with operating successful skills centres in “areas of high unemployment such as Middlesbrough and Sunderland”, upskilling disadvantaged youngsters. The group’s English and maths tuition was singled out for praise: “the vast majority of learners and apprentices develop skills in these subjects well”.

Over-19 apprentices, the vast majority of those the provider reaches, have high achievement, though small numbers of 16- to 18-year-olds struggle “to achieve their programme within the planned timescale”. Nevertheless, leaders, tutors and managers all come in for considerable praise. 

Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Vision Express   25/07/2017 23/08/2017 2 3

 

Independent Learning Providers Inspected  Published Grade Previous grade
TTE Training Limited 18/07/2017 24/08/2017 2 2
HYA Training Limited 12/07/2017 22/08/2017 1 2

 

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
HYA Training LimitedTTE Training Limited 18/07/201712/07/2017 24/08/201722/08/2017  2 1 22

 

Short inspections (remains grade 2) Inspected Published
Learning Curve (JAA) Limited 12/07/2017 25/08/2017