Ofsted Watch: Trio of poor monitoring visit reports

Three providers have been criticised for making ‘insufficient progress’ in the latest series of monitoring reports from Ofsted, including a recently merged college.

But it was ‘good’ news for one independent specialist college, which retained a grade two.

Coventry College, which was formed in August last year out of a merger of the grade three providers City College Coventry and Henley College Coventry, was found to be making poor progress in implementing a strategy for improving the teaching of English and maths and in making use of information about learners’ prior attainment to help plan teaching.

The report, published on October 2 after an inspection on September 11, said student tracking systems have not been used “well enough” since the merger to help identify learners and apprentices who are “not making secure progress” in English and maths.

It warned that “too few learners and apprentices achieve in line with their identified potential” in the subjects, with low attendance and low GCSE results, but added that leaders were working to improve this. 

The college also came in for criticism for “inconsistencies in monitoring and tracking” of learners’ work records and progress, but was found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in all other areas including setting challenging targets for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, supporting teachers and assessors to improve their teaching and the quality of the curriculum.

Two independent learning providers also received ‘insufficient’ progress ratings in monitoring visits of new apprenticeship providers.

Wolverhampton-based GTG Training, which currently has 196 levy funded apprentices, was deemed ‘insufficient’ for meeting the requirements of “successful apprenticeship provision” and the quality of its training.

The report, published on October 4, noted weaknesses in assessment plans, careers guidance, workplace mentors and plans for off-the-job training, and found that apprentices do not receive “any formal training” in English and maths except for one day before their functional skills examination.

Inspectors found that leaders have “worked hard to achieve a successful curriculum, but they have failed to recognise key weaknesses in the provision which are hindering apprentices’ progress”.

Despite this, the report commended the “well qualified and experienced” trainers and “enthusiastic” apprentices at the provider, and said safeguarding arrangements are effective. 

Ensis Solutions, which trains 123 apprentices in Wigan, was found to be ‘insufficient’ in ensuring apprentices receive high quality training, and the report, published on October 1, warned apprentices are not being set “demanding enough targets to achieve high grades in their end-point assessments”.

However, it noted that there had been “many recent improvements”, and commended leaders for their “strong determination and ambition” and “decisive action” to move from being a subcontractor to a provider.

The Department for Education will now be deciding whether or not to ban the providers from recruiting new apprentices until their grade improves. 

Four more learning providers had monitoring visits published this week.

Penshaw View Training in Sunderland, Bright Direction Training in Bolton, Stevenage’s Sporting Futures Training (UK) and Stanford Management Processes in Leicestershire were all found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ across the board by inspectors.

The only full inspection published this week was for independent specialist college Dorton College in Bromley, east London, which retained its ‘good’ rating across the board.

Learners were found to make “good progress” and “gain confidence” during their time at the college, which is run by the Royal Society for Blind Children and provides education and specialist therapies for young people with visual impairments and other additional needs.

The report described the college as a “highly respectful and safe environment” which has a “positive impact on the development of students’ independence” and commended leaders for their “clear and ambitious vision for the future”, but noted that learners should receive better careers guidance and external work placements.

 

Independent specialist colleges  Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Dorton College 12/09/2018 02/10/2018 2 2

 

GFE Colleges Inspected Published Grade
Coventry College 11/09/2018 02/10/2018 M

 

Independent learning providers Inspected Published Grade
Penshaw View Training 18/09/2018 05/10/2018 M
Ensis Solutions 08/08/2018 01/10/2018 M
GTG Training 13/09/2018 04/10/2018 M
Bright Direction Training  11/09/2018 04/10/2018 M
Sporting Futures Training (UK)  11/09/2018 03/10/2018 M
Stanford Management Processes 29/09/2018 01/10/2018 M