Ofsted watch: 'Insufficient' week for new private providers

Nearly half of the new providers which have had Ofsted reports published this week have made ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one area.

YMCA George Williams College and London School of Commerce & IT Limited are among those to receive the rating for Ofsted’s objectives of ‘successful apprenticeship provision’ and ‘positive outcomes for apprentices’.

The inspectorate found a lack of quality leadership at YMCA George Williams College, deeming its governance “weak”. Trustees were said to have failed to provide leaders with the support and challenge needed to be effective.

The report highlighted the poor implementation of support on the programme, with most apprentices making “slow progress” as a result.

The provider had failed to successfully expand apprentices’ skills, and had high levels of absence and drop-out from the programme. Staff were said to not act quick enough to provide good student outcomes, with some apprentices waiting “too long for written feedback on a unit assessment.”

It concluded that the provider does not efficiently prepare apprentices for their functional skills qualifications and vocational application. 

London School of Commerce & IT Limited was criticised for not having “planned to use their funding effectively to help learners”. “Nor do they have strong partnerships with the local job centre”, inspectors added. This was said to provide little opportunity for learners to progress onto the next level upon completion of the course.

Despite the majority of learners achieving functional skills qualifications, they did not adequately develop their English and mathematics skills.

Leaders were accused of not sufficiently measuring the impact of the courses, meaning that ultimately learners’ “individual needs” were not met.

AAA Training and Recruitment and CPC Training Consultants Ltd also received ‘insufficient’ judgements.

However, AAA has criticised Ofsted for handing down the judgement after sampling just a fraction of its apprentices.

Meanwhile CPC Training Consultants Ltd in Oldbury was criticised for not tracking learners’ progress after they had completed the programme. “As a result, managers do not have reliable information to analyse how successful the curriculum is in supporting learners to return to work.”

The investigation drew attention to managers not sufficiently using “the information on learners’ starting points and prior experience to place them on the right level of programme.” This apparently led to students either being over-stretched or under-challenged.

“Tutors do not set precise targets to improve learners’ skills”, Ofsted judged.

Fortunately, ‘reasonable progress’ for ensuring effective safeguarding (the third and final criteria of the report) was said to have been made for all four providers.

There was better news for UKfast.Net Limited in Manchester, which was the only provider this week found making ‘significant progress’.

Ofsted praised UKfast.Net in all areas of its early monitoring report, commenting on the provider’s “culture of high expectations”.

It said that the directors have “established strong links with stakeholders” and have “planned skilfully a challenging curriculum”. Consequently, apprentices make “very good progress” and most achieve distinction grades.

Staff had been recruited “carefully”, and were effective in developing significantly English and mathematical knowledge, as well as providing swift and overall “excellent support”.

Elsewhere, there were four monitoring reports which returned ‘reasonable progress’ scores across the board: Greendale Limited, Waltham International College Limited, Quest Training South East Ltd, Tendean Limited.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Greendale Limited 01/08/2019 13/08/2019 M N/A
London School Of Commerce & It Limited 17/07/2019 14/08/2019 M N/A
Waltham International College Limited 25/07/2019 14/08/2019 M N/A
YMCA George Williams College 04/07/2019 13/08/2019 M N/A
Aaa Training Solutions Limited 11/07/2019 15/08/2019 M N/A
CPC Training Consultants Ltd 10/07/2019 16/08/2019 M N/A
Quest Training South East Ltd 17/07/2019 16/08/2019 M N/A
Tendean Limited 24/07/2019 15/08/2019 M N/A
Ukfast.Net Limited 09/07/2019 15/08/2019 M N/A