Ofsted watch: UTC climbs out of ‘inadequate’

A university technical college has pulled itself out of ‘inadequate’, while two other FE providers, including an accountancy giant, slumped to the lowest rating this week.

Health Futures UTC has been given a grade three, nearly two years after the 14 to 19 provider was hit with a grade four.

Inspectors said it was previously “not clear” that the college had a health focus, but students are now in “no doubt” it aims to provide a career in health-related industries.

The reception area is “flanked by mannequins dressed as paramedics and surgeons,” the report reads, and at key stage 4, students study health and social care alongside English, maths and science.

While this provider escaped a grade four, others were less successful: Shrewsbury Colleges Group told FE Week it would be appealing after Ofsted dropped it from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ this week, because it found “not all students feel safe”.

Meanwhile, one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms, KPMG, was also slapped with the grade for a lack of unbiased careers advice and poor support for high needs learners with dyslexia for its 933 apprentices who all work in the civil service.

Fellow independent provider B-Skill Limited was branded ‘requires improvement’ for its provision to 274 adult learners and 423 apprentices, as while all of them “demonstrate a keenness to learn and take pride in their work”, the report said “too many” apprentices do not receive their full off-the-job training entitlement.

After avoiding losing its contracts after a grade four report in 2018, DV8 Training (Brighton) Limited has improved to ‘requires improvement’ in a report published this week.

While the great majority of students, of which DV8 has 178, complete their studies, “too many” do not attend lessons and when they do, they often arrive late.

Leaders were pulled up on this as it was an area for improvement from their last inspection, but inspectors did report progress had been made in improving the quality of education.

Cherith Simmons Learning & Development LLP made ‘insufficient progress’ in all areas of a monitoring visit as no apprentices have completed their qualifications, despite passing their end dates.

Leaders and managers “did not understand the need for end-point assessment to be completed by the planned learning end date” for apprentices commencing programmes before August 2019”, inspectors found.

They “expected this to take place after apprentices complete their planned training”.

Doncaster Conferences, Catering and Events Limited made ‘insufficient progress’ in two areas of an early monitoring visit: leaders and managers do not enrol apprentices onto “sufficiently challenging” programmes, instead requiring them to complete specific courses irrespective of prior experience.

New independent specialist provider The Michael Tippett College made ‘significant progress’ in an early monitoring visit of its provision to 30 students.

Leaders were commended for their “enterprising actions” in developing provision: they have put in a café where students can learn catering skills and set up pop-up outlets in the local community for students to sell products.

Phoenix4Training LLP made ‘reasonable progress’ in two areas of a monitoring visit conducted after it made ‘insufficient progress’ in safeguarding at a previous one.

Since then, leaders and managers have “worked quickly and effectively to correct and deal with concerns identified” and have established relevant policies and procedures.

Waltham Forest College, which this week revealed to FE Week it was due a diagnostic assessment from the FE Commissioner, had a monitoring visit after concerns were raised about its culture of safeguarding and its responses to notified concerns.

Inspectors found a “suitable” culture of safeguarding, but a few staff were dissatisfied with the outcomes, so decided to air their grievances outside established procedures.

UTC Sheffield City Centre achieved a grade two this week, its second consecutive one, because of a “well thought through” curriculum and because the provider “understands its specialist character well” and students are drawn to it in the hopes of becoming engineers or digital designers.

Hertfordshire County Council also kept hold of its grade two, after senior leaders acted “very swiftly” to further education colleges reducing local provision, by opening three new area.

Teachers at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, which has maintained its ‘good’ rating, structure classes “very well” to build on what learners know, and learners “demonstrate high levels of motivation and are keen to share their enthusiasm”.

Caroline Pauling and Equestrian Training Limited both made ‘reasonable progress’ in every area of an early monitoring visit.

GFE Colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Waltham Forest College 26/02/2020 19/03/2020 M 2

 

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
B-Skill Limited 21/02/2020 18/03/2020 3 2
Caroline Pauling trading as Peak Accountancy Training 05/03/2020 18/03/2020 M N/A
Cherith Simmons Learning & Development LLP 26/02/2020 18/03/2020 M N/A
Doncaster Conferences, Catering and Events Limited 20/02/2020 19/03/2020 M N/A
DV8 Training (Brighton) Limited 06/03/2020 19/03/2020 3 M
Equestrian Training Limited 20/01/2020 18/03/2020 M N/A
KPMG Limited Liability Partnership 07/02/2020 17/03/2020 4 M
Phoenix4Training LLP 04/03/2020 17/03/2020 M M

 

Sixth Form Colleges (inc 16-19 academies) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College 05/03/2020 19/03/2020 2 2
Shrewsbury Colleges Group 26/02/2020 16/03/2020 4 2

 

Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Hertfordshire County Council 12/02/2020 17/03/2020 2 2

 

Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Health Futures UTC 26/02/2020 19/03/2020 3 4
UTC Sheffield City Centre 13/02/2020 16/03/2020 2 2

 

Specialist colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
The Michael Tippett College 12/02/2020 17/03/2020 M N/A