Ofsted watch: Week ends with flurry of new reports

It has been a mixed week for FE providers amid a flurry of new reports published on Friday by Ofsted, including the first 13 under the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF).

Nine providers were found to be ‘good,’ out of a total of 23 reports released today.

Those with grade two included six independent learning providers, one adult and community learning provider, one general further education college and one specialist college.

Two general further education colleges and the only employer provider to be assessed this week were graded “requires improvement.”

However, the only provider to receive a grade four told FE Week today that the company has appealed.

Independent learning provider Mercia Partnership (UK) Ltd was labelled ‘inadequate’ by the inspectorate after previously receiving a ‘good’ grade.

Employer provider Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust was graded as “requires improvement” in its first full inspection.

The healthcare service had 38 apprentices on a level 3 team leading standards-based apprenticeship during the inspection.

While inspectors found they enjoyed the programme and receive good support from staff, the report stated “apprentices do not benefit enough from a well-planned curriculum that links their theory sessions with workplace practice and assessment.”

Coventry College failed to improve its grade from “requires improvement” and received a grade three in every area that was assessed in the most recent inspection.

At the time of the inspection, 3,085 learners were on young people education programmes, 2,375 learners were on adult learning programmes and there were 463 apprentices.

Inspectors praised the new governors for having “a good understanding of the college’s curriculum” and providing “leaders with effective challenge to improve provision.”

The new college was formed when City College Coventry and Henley College Coventry merged in August 2017.

Ofsted stated learners and apprentices are generally positive about the quality of the training on offer but “many feel that it could be improved”.

The report criticised teachers and assessors at the college for “not routinely review learners’ and apprentices’ work well enough” and failing to provide “sufficiently helpful feedback for them to extend their knowledge.”

CEO of Coventry College Gill Banks said: “We are pleased that the report provides a fair outline of the improvements already made at Coventry College.

“The Ofsted process and the report itself have enabled us to focus our collective and continuing efforts in making sure Coventry College succeeds as the largest general further education provider in the heart of our regenerating and booming city.”

The Sheffield College, the other further general education college to receive grade three, “requires improvement” for the third inspection in a row.

In 2018/19, the college had over 15,000 learners and apprentices enrolled on courses.

The overall effectiveness of the quality of education, leadership and management, education programmes for young people, apprenticeships and provision for learners with high needs at the college all were considered to be of grade three standard.

Although the education watchdog praised the confidence, self-belief and career aspirations developed by staff in attendees, it stated “too many apprentices and learners on study programmes do not develop the knowledge and skills expected of them.”

The report also noted that senior leaders have “taken action to address the significant weaknesses in the quality of education” since the previous inspection.

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal at The Sheffield College, said: “We are pleased that Ofsted has recognised our students enjoy their studies, feel safe and receive good pastoral support and that we have successfully improved adult education.

“We are committed to being a consistently great college and our staff are working hard on the areas that are not yet good.” 

Independent learning providers CQM Training And Consultancy Limited, Fuel Learning Limited and JM Recruitment Education & Training Ltd were graded ‘good’ in their first full inspections.

Other independent learning providers Norman Mackie & Associates Limited and Woodspeen Training Limited moved up from “requires improvement” to “good.”

Independent learning provider Digital Telecoms Network Academy Limited maintained its grade two as did general further education college North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.

However, Kirklees Council Adult and Community Learning, the only adult and community learning provider to be graded this week, dropped from being considered “outstanding” to “good.”

Two specialist colleges, Expanse Group Ltd and Moulton College, received monitoring visits from Ofsted this week following grade three and grade four evaluations on previous inspections.

Expanse Group Ltd made ‘reasonable progress’ in the two themes assessed by the education watchdog but Moulton College was found to have made ‘insufficient progress’ in raising the expectations teachers have of what students should know and be able to do – one of three areas evaluated.

Independent learning provider CSJ Training Limited was assessed to be making ‘insufficient progress’ in two out of three themes for its adult learning provision after a monitoring visit.

These were “designing and delivering relevant adult learning provision that has a clearly defined purpose” and ensuring “learners benefit from high quality adult education that prepares them well” for their next steps.

In contrast, the other adult learning provider to receive a monitoring visit this week, Bock Consultancy & Personnel Development Limited, was graded as having made ‘reasonable progress’ across the board.

All six apprenticeship providers which received monitoring visits this week were graded as having made ‘reasonable progress’ in every assessed theme.

These were: Education and Skills Training & Development Limited, Elev8 Training Limited, Eliesha Training Limited, Grey Seal Academy Limited, Lean Engineering and Manufacturing Academy Limited and RM Training (UK) Limited.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Bock Consultancy & Personnel Development Limited 12/09/2019 20/10/2019 M 3
CQM Training And Consultancy Limited 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 M
CSJ Training Limited 02/10/2019 21/10/2019 M N/A
Digital Telecoms Network Academy Limited 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 2
Education and Skills Training & Development Limited 10/10/2019 25/10/2019 M N/A
Elev8 Training Limited 01/10/2019 25/10/2019 M N/A
Eliesha Training Limited 03/10/2019 22/10/2019 M N/A
Fuel Learning Limited 27/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 M
Grey Seal Academy Limited 18/09/2019 21/10/2019 M N/A
JM Recruitment Education & Training Ltd 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 N/A
Lean Engineering And Manufacturing Academy Limited 13/09/2019 25/10/2019 M N/A
Mercia Partnership (UK) Ltd 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 4 2
Norman Mackie & Associates Limited 19/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 3
RM Training (UK) Limited 02/10/2019 24/10/2019 M N/A
Woodspeen Training Limited 13/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 3

 

Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Kirklees Council Adult and Community Learning 27/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 1

 

Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 3 M

 

GFE colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Coventry College 20/09/2019 25/10/2019 3 3
The Sheffield College 27/09/2019 25/10/2019 3 3
North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College 27/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 2

 

Specialist colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Expanse Group Ltd 03/10/2019 21/10/2019 M 3
Freeman College 19/09/2019 25/10/2019 2 2
Moulton College 02/10/2019 21/10/2019 M 4