Ofsted watch: A ‘reasonable’ week for new apprenticeship providers

It’s been a ‘reasonable’ week for FE and skills, as two ‘new’ apprenticeship providers have been given the thumbs up following monitoring visits.

Employer provider Flight Centre (UK) Limited was found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in all areas under review in a report published August 3 and based on a visit in mid-July.

The company is new to delivering apprenticeships, and has been running level three travel consultancy programmes for its own apprentices since May last year.

Leaders and managers “share a vision and ambition to provide high-quality apprenticeship training for the travel sector” and “have a good understanding of the requirements of the apprenticeship programme”.

Apprentices are “highly motivated”, develop their “knowledge, skills and confidence” and “benefit from regular reviews with their coaches”.

As a result “apprentices make good progress towards achieving their qualification”.

However, leaders and managers were found to have failed to implement a “sufficiently rigorous system to monitor the quality of the apprenticeship programme”, and consequently “do not have a comprehensive enough overview” of its strengths and weaknesses and how to improve it.

Buttercups Training Limited, an independent training provider specialising in health (pharmacy services) apprenticeships, was also found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in all themes.

It isn’t new to delivering apprenticeships, having previously subcontracted for a number of FE colleges over several years.

Its programmes, at levels two and three, were found to “meet in full the requirements of apprenticeships”.

Leaders and managers “enjoy very strong relationships with employers and representative bodies in the pharmacy sector”, and staff at the provider have “extensive specialist expertise in this vocational area”.

“All apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills and understanding,” and receive a “good standard of on- and off-the-job training”, inspectors noted.

Thanks to “very thorough” and “appropriately detailed and helpful” feedback from assessors, apprentices have a “clear understanding of what further improvements they must make and by when”.

Just two other FE and skills inspection reports have been published this week.

Independent providers EXG Limited and BL Training Limited both held onto their grade two ratings following short inspections.

Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Buttercups Training Limited04/07/201801/08/2018MM


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Flight Centre (UK) Limited11/07/201803/08/2018MM


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
EXG Limited04/07/201831/07/2018
BL Training Limited26/06/201831/07/2018

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One comment

  1. Julie Ritson

    I’m quite astounded to see that the majority of this article is about new providers and the two existing providers that maintained GOOD provision for many years got two lines. Is this fair coverage ?

    To be fair it wasn’t a reasonable week for BL Hairdressing or EXG limited it was a GOOD week