Ofsted watch: 8 out of 10 providers celebrate positive reports

It has been a very successful week for FE providers, with eight out of the 10 reports published by Ofsted showcasing great strides in their provision.

The most glowing report came in for First Intuition Cambridge Limited, a private provider which was found making ‘significant progress’ in all themes judged during an early monitoring visit of its apprenticeship provision.

Inspectors said leaders and managers at the provider, which trains over 130 learners on finance and accounting standards, have developed a “very effective curriculum strategy” that meets the needs for accountancy skills “exceedingly well”.

They lauded directors for having established a “flexible” programme that gives apprentices the opportunity to mix with those studying other accountancy programmes, at the same time as monitoring the quality of the provision “rigorously”.

“Apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours,” Ofsted added.

Another provider to receive ‘significant progress’ ratings across the board in an early monitoring visit was PGL Travel Limited, which had 23 apprentices at the time of Ofsted’s visit.

Inspectors reported how the employer provider has a “clear strategy and vision” to develop a skilled workforce through “well-designed and high-quality” provision.

The report said the provider is “highly ambitious” for its apprentices and has invested “a substantial amount of time, money, effort and energy to establish an ambitious curriculum plan for the apprenticeship provision”.

Meanwhile, Academy for Project Management, a training provider based in Bristol with 28 apprentices on a level four project manager standard, received two ‘significant progress’ ratings and one ‘reasonable progress’ in its early monitoring visit.

Inspectors found the provider’s leaders and managers focus on establishing an “effective and high-quality programme” with a clearly articulated vision and rationale for the apprenticeship. Its leaders, managers and tutors also have suitable qualifications and experience with “extensive expertise” in their field.

Ofsted added that senior leaders “are highly responsive to the needs of their employers”.

Also this week, University of Central Lancashire, which trains over 250 apprentices, received a ‘good’ rating in its first full inspection due to its “culture of inclusivity” and its “highly effective employer engagement”.

Ofsted said its apprenticeship programmes are “well managed” and “most apprentices remain on their programme and achieve their module assessments”.

It was also good news for Community Training Portal Limited, which was rated grade two in its first inspection. Apprentices were found to make good progress over time thanks to leaders and managers who have “good knowledge of their training needs”.

“As a result of leaders’ shared ambitions for, and high expectations of, learners, their achievement rates are high,” inspectors wrote.

NACRO, an adult and community learning provider, improved its Ofsted rating from grade three to grade two. This was driven by leaders and managers making “significant improvements” to the quality of the provision since the previous inspection, with trustees and leaders ensuring these changes take place quickly.

The watchdog said the provider holds “high ambitions” for learners that help them make good progress, achieve well and take positive next steps in their education and employment.

Elsewhere, Serco Ltd was found making ‘reasonable progress’ in three areas and ‘significant progress’ in another two following its first monitoring visit since its grade three report last year.

Inspectors said leaders and managers responded “swiftly to the findings of the previous inspection and they have introduced a range of measures to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment for apprentices”.

The last positive report came in for Choice Training Ltd, a private provider found making ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in its early monitoring visit of its apprenticeship provision.

On a more negative note, Right Track Social Enterprise Limited received two ‘insufficient progress’ ratings in its early monitoring visit because its leaders and managers “do not effectively monitor how well an apprentice’s training meets the requirements for an apprenticeship”.

Ofsted warned apprentices complete a large majority of the programme in their own time, which “does not meet the requirements of apprenticeship programmes”.

But it did say that safeguarding at the provider is making ‘significant progress’.

Lastly, Sheffield Hallam University was rated ‘requires improvement’ in its first ever inspection as two fifths of operations/departmental manager apprentices leave their programmes early without completing the NVQ component of their programme.

Governors were found to not having sufficient awareness of the quality of a few important aspects of provision. However, almost all apprentices who complete their apprenticeships remain in secure employment and many progress to further study at a higher level.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade  
Community Training Portal Limited 27/02/2019 10/04/2019 2 n/a  
Academy for Project Management Ltd 12/03/2019 09/04/2019 M n/a  
Serco Limited 20/03/2019 10/04/2019 M 3  
Right Track Social Enterprise Limited 13/03/2019 12/04/2019 M n/a  
Choice Training Limited 27/03/2019 12/04/2019 M n/a  
First Intuition Cambridge Limited 13/03/2019 12/04/2019 M n/a  

 

Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
NACRO 04/03/2019 11/04/2019 2 3

 

Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade  
PGL Travel 20/03/2019 08/04/2019 M 2  

 

Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
University of Central Lancashire 05/03/2019 11/04/2019 2 n/a
Sheffield Hallam University 06/03/2019 12/04/2019 3 n/a