Ofsted watch: A mostly positive week for FE and skills

It’s been a mostly positive week for FE and skills, with one provider receiving a grade two on its first ever full inspection and five early monitoring visit reports returning ‘reasonable’ grades.

The only blemishes on this otherwise glowing picture are two apprenticeship providers found to be making ‘insufficient’ progress.

Leaders at independent learning provider 1st Care Training, based in King’s Lynn, have “worked well to establish a culture of ambition for all learners” according to a report published October 11 and based on an inspection a month earlier.

Teachers at the provider, which offers apprenticeships and loans-funded provision for the care sector, provide “good individual training” to learners which meets their “specific needs and supports their workplace and employment ambitions well”.

Achievement rates were “extremely high”, with all but one learner completing their courses on time in 2017/18.

Learners make “good progress” at work, and many “reach management positions or gain additional responsibilities” as a result of their training.

Four independent providers and one employer provider have had apprenticeship early monitoring visit reports published this week that found them to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in all areas.

These were Train Together, in Leicester; Seymour Davies Ltd, in Cambridgeshire; Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust; Cheshire-based Partnership Training Limited; and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

In contrast, Kashmir Youth Project, in Rochdale, was found to be making ‘insufficient progress’ in two out of three areas under review, in a report published October 5 and based on a visit in early September.

The provider, which began as a voluntary and community organisation in 1979, first started delivering apprenticeship training in 2005 as a subcontractor before gaining a place on the register of apprenticeship training providers in May 2017.

Governors, leaders and managers “have a clear focus and vision for the future” but “have not focused sufficiently on the delivery of the new apprenticeship contract”, the report said.

They have “identified several weaknesses” but “have not acted quickly enough to eliminate them”.

Managers have not ensured that all “apprentices receive their full entitlement to off-the-job training time during working hours”.

“Apprentices do not develop substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviour,” the report said.

Trainers and tutors were also criticised for failing to “check the progress and understanding of all apprentices” and for giving “insufficient” feedback to apprentices.

As previously reported by FE Week, Cumbria-based NC Training Limited was found to be making ‘insufficient progress’ in a report published October 11 and based on a visit in mid-September.

Both NC Training and Kashmir Youth Project face being barred from taking on new apprentices until they’ve been rated at least ‘requires improvement’ for their apprenticeship provision, following a full inspection.

This should take place within 12 months of the monitoring visit.

Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
1st Care Training Limited11/09/201811/10/20182
Train Together11/09/201805/10/2018MM
Seymour Davies Ltd12/09/201809/10/2018MM
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust25/09/201812/10/2018MM
NC Training Limited18/09/201811/10/2018MM
Partnership Training Limited18/09/201811/10/2018MM
Kashmir Youth Project11/09/201805/10/2018MM


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust Foundation Trust11/09/201810/09/2018MM

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