Ofsted watch: Ambulance trust fares well in early monitoring visit

The first employer provider to have received an apprenticeship early monitoring visit resulted in a positive report, in this week’s Ofsted watch.

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was found to be making reasonable progress in all three theme areas, in a report published May 1 and based on an inspection on April 12.

The monitoring visit was undertaken as part of a series of monitoring visits that are taking place with a sample of new apprenticeship training providers directly funded through the apprenticeship levy.

Senior leaders at the trust were found to have “clear workforce strategy and operational plan” to ensure that apprentices “receive good-quality education and training to enable them to perform their job roles to a high standard”.

Apprentice recruitment was found to be “rigorous”, with all of those recruited from May 2017 still on the apprenticeship.

Most apprentices “make good progress” and “achieve the targets set for them”, the report said.

But inspectors noted: “Managers do not take apprentices’ prior learning and achievements into account when planning for individual learning needs”.

It was ‘good’ news for independent learning provider ALM Training Services Limited this week, as it received grade two across the board – up from its previous grade three.

But the report, published May 1, was based on an inspection carried out in March of just 12 learners.

Most of those, who were all on 16 to 19 study programmes, made “good progress in developing their knowledge and skills” and “achieve qualifications that prepare them well for purposeful employment”.

“Staff provide highly effective support for the many learners with challenging backgrounds; as a result these learners often excel,” the report said.

Leaders and managers were praised for having made good progress in “rectifying almost all the weaknesses” found at the previous inspection.

But they were also found to have failed to ensure that the “most able learners” were provided with work experience “early enough in their programme so as to enhance their industry-specific skills”.

Central Training Academy Limited saw its previous ‘good’ rating fall to ‘requires improvement’ in a report published May 1 and based on an inspection in late February.

“Too many” subcontractors for the independent learning provider had “underperformed over time” due to “quality assurance arrangements” that “lack rigour”.

And leaders’ actions “to improve the quality of the provision are not robust,” the report said.

“Too much provision” was “not good enough”, which meant that “too many apprentices make slow progress”, it noted.

However, “the majority of learners enrolled on study programmes and adult courses develop good knowledge, understanding and skills and make effective progress”.

Medway UTC was slammed by inspectors in a report, published May 4 and based on an inspection in March, that branded the 14 to 19 technical school ‘inadequate’ across the board.

Governors were found to have “abrogated” their responsibilities, and they, along with school leaders, had not “demonstrated that they have the capacity needed to secure the improvements needed”.

There was a “culture of low expectation across the UTC”, inspectors found.

The only college to have had an Ofsted report published this week was Writtle University College, which held onto its ‘good’ rating following a short inspection.

No adult and community learning providers had inspection reports published this week.


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
ALM Training Services Ltd21/03/201801/05/201823
Central Training Academy Ltd20/02/201801/05/201832


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust12/04/201801/05/2018MonitoringMonitoring


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Medway UTC06/03/201804/05/20184


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
Writtle University College13/03/201801/05/2018

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