Ofsted watch: Bad week for providers - especially UTCs

It was a poor week for providers who received full inspections, as one failed to improve its grade three and two university technical colleges were hit with damning grade four reports.

People and Business Development Ltd, an independent provider based in Suffolk, was rated ‘requires improvement’ across the board – which was worse than its inspection in October 2016 when it achieved ‘good’ in one headline field.

“Leaders have not effectively dealt with the weaknesses identified at the previous inspection because they have not taken effective action or directed staff well enough,” inspectors said.

“Leaders do not effectively assess the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Consequently, they have not ensured that assessors improve their practice, to enable learners to make rapid progress.”

Ofsted found that the proportion of apprentices who achieve their qualifications was “too low”, and “too few” achieve their apprenticeships within planned timescales.

To improve, inspectors said PBD must ensure that employers are “routinely involved in the planning of learning programmes and in the reviews of progress with apprentices”.

Meanwhile, hugely critical ‘inadequate’ reports were handed to UTC@Harbourside and Health Futures UTC.

Bullying – some of it racial – was rife at Harbourside, which announced closure last week.

Some pupils in year 10 have a “miserable time” at the UTC “due to bullying, some of a persistent nature and which results in a few pupils being isolated”.

It was also accused of “too often” breaking “too many promises”.

Leaders and governors at Health Futures UTC, based in West Bromwich, were deemed “ineffective”, having missed “significant” teaching weaknesses, according to inspectors.

“Teaching has been weak and consequently, students have made very poor progress,” the report said, adding that the top team had failed to recognise these failings until exam results were released in August 2017.

There was one monitoring visit of a “new” apprenticeship provider published this week, which produced a positive report.

Impact Futures Training Limited is based in Berkshire and delivers training to over 150 apprentices in industries including health and social care, management and customer service.

“Senior leaders and managers are very committed to providing a high and improving standard of training for all apprentices,” inspectors said.

They’ve also “set and communicated a clear strategy to address training skills gaps in the business, and health and social care sectors”.

Inspectors added that tutors ensure that apprentices “develop new skills, knowledge and behaviours that allow them to carry out their work roles more effectively”.

As a result, “apprentices are able to show how their learning has improved the quality of service that they offer their clients”.

Lastly, three short inspections were published this week, in which Wiltshire College, Cheyne’s (Management) Limited in London, and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council maintained their ‘good’ ratings.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
People and Business Development Ltd 05/06/2018 04/07/2018 3 3
Impact Futures Training Limited 05/06/2018 06/07/2018 M M

 

Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Health Futures UTC 22/05/2018 03/07/2018 4 NA
UTC@harbourside 22/05/2018 04/07/2018 4 NA

 

Short inspections (remains grade 2) Inspected Published
Wiltshire College 23/05/2018 04/07/2018
Cheyne’s (Management) Limited 05/06/2018 05/07/2018
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council 05/06/2018 06/07/2018