Apprenticeships, Ofsted

Hawk swoops another ‘outstanding’ after 10-year inspection gap

'This is a testament to the dedication of our team against a backdrop of a really challenging time for ITPs'

'This is a testament to the dedication of our team against a backdrop of a really challenging time for ITPs'

Twickenham-based Hawk Training is celebrating another ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating – a decade on since the provider first achieved the grade.

The apprenticeship firm received grade ones in all areas barring personal development, which was judged as ‘good’, in a report published today following a visit in March.

Inspectors heaped praise on managers and staff who “ensure that the vast majority of apprentices benefit from a challenging and demanding curriculum”, adding that leaders have “considered very carefully the content of programmes to ensure that apprentices build on existing and gain substantial new knowledge and skills”.

The report said apprentices have an “extremely positive attitude towards their studies and are highly committed to their training”, with many completing all targets they are set ahead of time, achieving high attendance and overall make “very good progress, develop their confidence and achieve their qualifications”.

Managing director Crawford Knott told FE Week the achievement was a testament to the dedication and commitment of his team against a backdrop of a “really challenging time for independent training providers”.

“If you think the last time we inspected, the landscape has changed hugely, obviously by the apprenticeship reforms in 2017 with the move to the levy, the switch from frameworks to standards and we’ve had a global pandemic.”

Hawk, founded in 1988, delivers training in early years, business and administration, and team leading and management to over 1,000 apprentices and 400 different employers.

Ofsted said Hawk Training apprentices receive “outstanding support” from tutors and praised tutors’ subject knowledge and plans for on and off-the-job training activities. Inspectors found that apprentices also receive helpful careers advice and guidance.

Inspectors praised the “exceptional” behaviour of students who “rapidly develop a range of personal and professional behaviours that support them in their social and working lives”.

Leaders and managers were lauded for having a “forensic oversight of the quality of their provision, which they use to inform their clear and concise improvement plans”, and gain this oversight through activities such as sampling teaching, speaking with apprentices and employers, and reviewing the progress of apprentices.

The provider also has “highly effective” governors and non-executive directors who “have a broad skillset that they use with great effect to improve the provision”, as well as a “detailed understanding of further education and take a real interest in the experience that apprentices and their employers have with Hawk Training”.

Knott said: “This is great for our employer partners and learners to receive that affirmation that we’re delivering an outstanding service.

“We hear a lot of bad news of providers and colleges that have slipped from ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ so for us, we are absolutely delighted.”

Hawk is one of 40 independent training providers to currently hold an Ofsted grade one judgement.

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