Ofsted watch: Concern over weak governance at Manchester provider

Concerns over governance were raised in the first ever Ofsted report on Manchester-based Impact College, an independent training provider given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

That report, published April 26 and based on an inspection in mid-March, found that governance was “weak” and the “self-assessment process is not rigorous enough”.

It noted that learners’ starting points were not “clearly identified and used to plan individual learning”, nor did tutors “routinely set targets” to develop learners’ skills.

“Too much assignment work is not written in the learners’ own words; when learners use their own words, the standard is much lower,” it also found.

A mostly quiet week for FE, also included a damning report into Bolton University Technical College, which has finally seen the official light of day more than three weeks after the 14 to 19 technical institution published it on its own website.

No full inspection reports for general FE colleges were published, and just one for a sixth form college.

Christ the King SFC in south London held onto its grade two rating, in a report published April 26, based on an inspection in early March.

A “very high proportion” of A-level learners achieved their qualifications and progressed onto higher education, thanks to the “teachers’ passion for their subject” which “motivates learners to work hard and succeed”.

Leaders and staff were praised for having “high ambitions” for learners, and for preparing them “exceptionally well for life in a cosmopolitan society”.

“High-quality careers guidance ensures that learners make well-informed decisions about their future careers,” the report noted.

Adult and community learning provider Roots and Shoots also retained its grade two, in a report published today (April 28) and based on an early March inspection.

Leaders at the London-based provider, which specialises in vocational training for disadvantaged young people, were praised for having “high aspirations” for learners and for creating a “positive and caring culture where learning takes place in a respectful, safe and purposeful environment”.

The “majority” of learners make “good progress”, thanks to the support they receive to “help them to overcome the significant barriers to learning that they face”.

In addition: “All learners benefit from good opportunities to extend the skills and knowledge needed for employment through a good range of work experience placements.”

As previously reported by FE Week, Bolton UTC was awarded the lowest possible grade in all areas, following an inspection at the end of February.

The report, which was published on the UTC’s website on April 4 and by Ofsted on April 25, slammed the 14 to 19 technical institution for “poor teaching” and placing pupils on “inappropriate courses”.

As a result the original cohort of pupils “express considerable disappointment with the promises that the college made to them and the reality of what they received”.

The report also noted that: “The relationship between leaders at the highest level in the college began to break down early last year, causing them to be distracted from their core role of college improvement.”

Askham Bryan College, independent training provider Consortia Training Limited and adult and community learning provider Kirkdale Industrial Training Services Limited all kept their ‘good’ ratings following short inspections.

Sixth Form CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Christ the King Sixth Form College07/03/201726/04/201722


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Impact College15/03/201726/04/20173


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Roots and Shoots07/03/201728/04/201722


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Bolton UTC28/02/201725/04/20174


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
Askham Bryan College15/03/201725/04/2017
Consortia Training Limited30/03/201727/04/2017
Kirkdale Industrial Training Services Limited16/03/201724/04/2017

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