Ofsted watch: Independent specialist college rated ‘inadequate’ in poor week for providers

An independent specialist college has been hit with an ‘inadequate’ rating after Ofsted found students with high needs were being placed in “potentially harmful situations,” in a less than impressive week for FE providers.

Elsewhere two out of five early monitoring reports for new apprenticeship firms resulted in ‘insufficient’ verdicts, while one private provider was rated grade three in its first ever inspection.

The only positive report was for CTS Training, which upped its ‘requires improvement’ grade to ‘good’.

Chatsworth Futures Limited was the worst casualty of the week, being downgraded from a three to a four by Ofsted.

The inspectors said leaders and managers need to “urgently” address health and safety. Key hazards, such as the safe storage of tools, have not been identified in risk assessments.

The provider, which has 15 learners with special educational needs on level one courses, has been told to find senior leaders who have experience of working with those kinds of students in FE settings as its current team are “not suitably experienced”.

The failure at the independent college comes after it joined Chatsworth multi-academy trust in September 2018.

Interlearn Limited, which has 420 apprentices, scored a grade three in every area of its first inspection.

Inspectors said too many apprentices on the early years and on the care management frameworks make slow progress because of disrupted learning and infrequent assessment.

Apprentices work independently through online resources towards their functional skills qualification, but have to wait up to six months to receive feedback on how they have performed.

However, apprentices develop a wide range of new skills during their programme and stay in employment following completion of their course.

Independent learning provider BNG Training scored two insufficient ratings from a monitoring visit.

Assessors, the report said, do not ensure apprentices’ starting points are assessed accurately at the beginning of their programme.

But apprentices, of which there are 74 at BNG, do develop professional and supportive relationships with parents, carers and children while on their framework in children and young people’s workforce.

BNG said that since the monitoring visit took place there have been “significant changes within BMG Training”, including the appointment of a new director of operations and the implementation of a “robust action plan to address the areas in the report findings”.

CTS Training, which had 275 learners at the time of inspection, improved its Ofsted grade from three to two, with inspectors praising the “significant” improvement in achievement rates.

“Learners increase their confidence and prospects as a result of the respect, kindness and wraparound care that they receive,” the report says.

CTS works with vulnerable learners and was commended for giving a high level of pastoral support to learners who have previously lived in institutional settings.

Chamber Training (Humber) Limited, which has 119 apprentices and 12 adult learners, made reasonable progress in four themes of a monitoring visit.

The independent learning provider brought in a new curriculum in health and social care since their grade three inspection in 2018, a decision the inspector described as “sensible”.

The provider is now much more rigorous in how they recruit apprentices to the hairdresser course, but tutors do not challenge apprentices to aim for the higher grades in their assessments. Apprentices do not even know if they are on track to pass their qualification.

Digital Skills Solutions Ltd scored three reasonable progress scores from its first monitoring visit.

Leaders and managers were found to have been successful in setting up systems for recruiting seven apprentices and placed them on successful apprenticeships and they are making good progress.

Chameleon Vocational Training Limited, which has nine apprentices, was said to have made reasonable progress in three areas of a monitoring visit.

Most of the apprentices are making their expected level of progress towards their qualifications, and leaders receive regular reports on the progress of apprentices so they can highlight who is falling behind and intervene.

Agincare Group Limited received two ‘insufficient progress’ ratings this week, and say they are already delivering a plan to address the shortcomings identified in the report.

Independent Specialist College Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Chatsworth Futures Limited 22/01/2019 22/02/2019 4 3

 

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade  
Chamber Training (Humber) Limited 30/01/2019 19/02/2018 M M RRRR
CTS Training 15/01/2019 18/02/2018 2 3  
Agincare Group Limited 22/01/2019 20/02/2019 M M IIR
Digital Skills Solutions Limited 23/01/2019 21/02/2019 M M RRR 
BNG Training Limited 22/01/2019 19/02/2019 M M IIR
Chameleon Vocational Training Limited 08/01/2019 18/02/2019 M M RRR
Interlearn Limited 15/01/2019 21/02/2019 3 N/A