Ofsted watch: Tough week with one employer provider crashing to a grade four

It has been a tough week for FE as one provider was hit with ‘inadequate’ and three others found making insufficient progress.

Securitas UK, a large employer provider in the security sector, was rated as ‘inadequate’ in its first full inspection after Ofsted found none of its apprentices achieved their qualification.

Ofsted’s report found that “poor leadership and management” of the apprenticeship provision has since led to a third of learners withdrawing from the programme since January, with the number of learners dropping from 668 to 270.

The ‘inadequate’ report means Securitas will be chucked off of the agency’s register of apprenticeship training providers, meaning it can no longer deliver the provision itself. The provider told FE Week it would challenge the report.

Meanwhile, E.Q.V. (UK) Limited was found to have made ‘insufficient progress’ across the board in its first monitoring visit from Ofsted.

Leaders at the Leicester-based provider do not ensure that the programmes meet the principles and requirements of apprenticeships, inspectors found.

The report said: “Leaders have been slow to check how well apprentices are progressing and have not taken decisive action where performance is weak.

“Consequently, too many apprentices do not make appropriate progress and do not complete their apprenticeship by the expected date.”

Ashley Community & Housing Limited was also slammed with two ‘insufficient progress’ provisions in its first-ever monitoring visit.

Ofsted found that “too many” apprentices are not making strong progress in their development of new work-related skills, knowledge and behaviours and are not prepared well enough in order to be successful at their final assessment due to leaders and managers’ failure to “adequately” monitor and review the quality of the programme.

They have also been “too slow” to implement identified improvements following the introduction of formal quality reviews last year.

Equally, Manatec Limited was slammed by Ofsted with two ‘insufficient progress’ outcomes after it found a “high proportion” of learners not knowing they are on an apprenticeship programme.

Inspectors found that leaders have “not ensured that the apprenticeships they offer meet the requirements of apprentices or of their employers”.

Ofsted’s report details how the majority of apprentices “have a poor learning experience, do not gain new knowledge, skills or behaviours” or are, most worryingly, “unaware that they are completing an apprenticeship programme”.

Elsewhere, a total of 9 independent learning providers and two employer providers received their first monitoring visits, being all rated with ‘reasonable progress’ in the education watchdog’s reports.

Also this week, South Wiltshire UTC received a special measures monitoring inspection report from Ofsted, the second one since the school became subject to special measures in February.

The UTC, currently rated as a grade 4 provider, was found to have made progress, with leaders and managers taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.

Inspectors said the school’s action plan was fit for purpose, but was told not to appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection.

On the bright side, Training 2000 Limited was found to have made ‘significant progress’ in one provision and ‘reasonable progress’ in the other two after being given a grade 3 rating last year.

Ofsted said senior leaders have taken “decisive and effective actions” which have resulted in “considerable improvements” in the quality of study programmes since the previous inspection.

The report said managers took the decision to discontinue study programmes in military preparation and programmes for adults, which led to a “much higher proportion” of learners staying on their course and achieving qualifications, including in English and mathematics, when compared with 2017/18.

Finally, William Morris Sixth Form maintained its grade 3 after inspector found leaders and governors’ actions “have not brought about rapid and sustained improvements to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment”.

Ofsted said there were “too many subjects” where the quality of leadership, teaching, learning and assessment was not of a high enough standard.

However, inspectors recognised that leaders are currently reviewing the curriculum offer and have since introduced some whole-school procedures to ensure greater consistency across departments and raise teacher expectations.

Sixth Form Colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
William Morris Sixth Form 25/04/2019 20/05/2019 3 3

 

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Ashley Community & Housing Ltd 17/04/2019 21/05/2019 M n/a
Aim Skills Development Limited 17/04/2019 21/05/2019 M n/a
The Portland Training Company Limited 11/04/2019 23/05/2019 M n/a
Numidia Education And Training Limited 11/04/2019 22/05/2019 M n/a
Care First Training Limited 18/04/2019 23/05/2019 M n/a
E.Q.V. (UK) Limited 11/04/2019 20/05/2019 M n/a
Manatec Limited 29/03/2019 23/05/2019 M n/a
South West Skills Academy Limited 11/04/2019 23/05/2019 M n/a
Birmingham Ymca 26/04/2019 23/05/2019 M n/a
University Centre Quayside Limited 30/04/2019 24/05/2019 M n/a
Vocational Skills Solutions Limited 02/05/2019 24/05/2019 M n/a
East Birmingham Community Forum Ltd 02/05/2019 24/05/2019 M n/a

 

Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Training 2000 Limited 10/04/2019 23/05/2019 M 3

 

Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Securitas Security Services (Uk) Limited 11/04/2019 20/05/2019 4 n/a
Colas Rail Limited 01/05/2019 20/05/2019 M n/a
Western Power Distribution (South West) 02/05/2019 24/05/2019 M n/a

 

Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
South Wiltshire UTC   24/05/2019 M 4