Ofsted Watch: Employer providers excel in good week for FE sector

Two employer providers have made an excellent start to their apprenticeship training careers, with five ‘significant progress’ findings from their cumulative early monitoring visits.

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust broke a spell of bad reports for the NHS with its report finding it had made ‘significant progress’ in all three areas.

Inspectors said leaders and managers have “a clear and well-developed strategy” to use the apprenticeship levy to provide routes for apprentices on level 3 programmes towards becoming paramedics.

The 21 apprentices at the provider have access to a fully-operational ambulance and digital learning resources and develop substantial new skills and knowledge.

Helpful and supportive feedback, which learners respond to swiftly, builds on those skills and that knowledge; for example, on how to support patients to get into an ambulance safely.

Cadent Gas Limited also burned bright this week, scoring two ‘significant progress’ ratings in an early monitoring visit of its provision to 76 apprentices.

The one area which prevented it from a clean sweep was safeguarding, where it had made ‘reasonable progress’.

Apprentices spend around a third of their time on off-the-job training in training facilities that are of an “exceptional” standard.

They also receive highly effective support towards their end-point assessment, which includes completing practical mocks which accurately simulate the final exam, and apprentices who fail the practice receive a detailed action plan to improve.

These measures mean most apprentices pass their EPA on time and around a quarter who have passed achieved a distinction.

Cadent was pulled up on its English provision, however, as while maths is integrated well into the training, trainers do not develop their learners’ English writing skills sufficiently for future roles.

Moor Training Limited, an independent training provider to 43 apprentices, was found to have made ‘reasonable progress’ in safeguarding – the sole area of its monitoring visit.

This is an improvement on its earlier visit, where Moor Training was found to have made ‘insufficient progress’ in that area.

Vogal Group, an independent provider to 18 learners, had the same result as Moor Training: it was found to have made ‘reasonable progress’ in safeguarding, after earlier receiving an ‘insufficient progress’ rating.

Independent provider Keits Training Services retained its grade two in a full inspection of its provision to 554 apprentices and 15 trainees.

Inspectors reported senior leaders have “high expectations for both staff and learners”, while the “culture, ethos and teamwork within the organisation ensure adult learners and apprentices make good progress”.

“Leaders work highly effectively with employers and other stakeholders to ensure the curriculum meets the specific needs of the land-based and animal care industries,” the Ofsted report added.

At a lower point on the results table is Havilah Prospects, which scored two ‘insufficient progress’ ratings for its provision to 154 apprentices.

Inspectors found: “Managers do not ensure the programmes they offer meet the requirements of an apprenticeship.”

They do not ensure employers allow apprentices enough time to partake in high-quality training and development, and a plan to cut ties with these employers has not yet been implemented, leaving learners without the support to which they are entitled.

An apprentice’s existing knowledge, skills and behaviours is not taken into account by Havilah before they start the programme, according to inspectors.

The information assessors do collect about apprentices’ English, including English as a second or other language, and maths skills is not used to plan learning for developing their functional skills.

Effective safeguarding arrangements are in place though, and Havilah was found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in terms of ensuring effective safeguarding measures are in place.

Other providers which had reports published this week and made ‘reasonable progress’ in all areas include: Ebenezer Community College; Groundwork, Oldham and Rochdale; Lomax Training Services Limited; Mbkb Limited; CSA (Services) Ltd; HTFT Partnership Limited; Shreeji Training Limited; Training Works (NW) Limited; Apprenticeship Learning Solutions; and Muath Trust.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Ebenezer Community College 17/07/2019 06/08/2019 M N/A
Groundwork, Oldham and Rochdale 10/07/2019 06/08/2019 M N/A
Havilah Prospects Limited 12/07/2019 06/08/2019 M N/A
Lomax Training Services Limited 27/07/2019 06/08/2019 M N/A
Mbkb Limited 17/07/2019 05/08/2019 M N/A
CSA (Services) Ltd 10/07/2019 07/08/2019 M N/A
HTFT Partnership Limited 25/07/2019 08/08/2019 M N/A
Shreeji Training Limited 26/07/2019 08/08/2019 M N/A
Training Works (NW) Limited 19/07/2019 07/08/2019 M N/A
Apprenticeship Learning Solutions 12/07/2019 09/08/3029 M N/A
Keits Training Services 19/07/2019 09/08/2019 2 2
Moor Training Limited 25/07/2019 09/08/2019 M M
Vogal Group Limited 24/07/2019 09/08/2019 M M

 

Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Muath Trust 25/07/2019 08/08/2019 M N/A

 

Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Cadent Gas Limited 18/07/2019 06/09/2019 M N/A
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust 12/07/2019 05/08/2019 M N/A