Ofsted Watch: Encouraging week for adult and community learning providers

A strong week for adult and community learning providers saw three climb up from ‘requires improvement’ ratings.

Slough Pitstop Project Limited was rated ‘good’ overall by Ofsted.

Inspectors recognised that “leaders, managers and trustees set a clear direction for the charity”, and “welcome all learners to their courses, which benefits the local community”.

It was noted that as a consequence of attending, learners “improve their confidence and behaviour, they learn to value education and become more self-assured”.

The project, which is also known as ‘the Gateway’, delivers programmes with the aim of engaging and motivating disadvantaged young people. They work with those not in education, employment or training (NEET) to equip them “with the confidence and skills to succeed in life”.

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council also went up a grade to ‘good’ overall.

This service provides courses in English, mathematics, family learning, English for speakers of other languages, basic digital skills, employability and wellbeing. The courses range from pre-entry to level two.

Leaders and managers have redesigned the provision effectively to primarily improve the life chances of the disadvantaged communities in the Wirral

“Leaders and managers have redesigned the provision effectively to primarily improve the life chances of the disadvantaged communities in the Wirral and develop learners’ English and mathematics skills,” inspectors wrote.

Governors were praised for a “good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses” of the service”, and maintaining “high expectations”.

Learners on family learning courses were also said to “gain useful knowledge and skills that help them and their children develop”.

Hampshire Futures was recognised for the same level of improvement to ‘good’ overall.

“Leaders and managers have dealt effectively with the vast majority of weaknesses identified at the previous inspection; as a result, learners’ experiences and the quality of provision are now good,” the report said.

Learners’ achievements were said to have improved significantly since the previous inspection.

Hampshire Futures is part of Hampshire County Council and is based in Winchester.

The majority of its learners are adults taking mainly non-accredited community learning courses. Programmes for adults include mathematics, English, languages, information technology, art, dance and wel-being courses.

Training 2000 Limited, another adult and community learning provider, however, travelled in the opposite direction, from grade two to three.

It was described by inspectors as the largest group training association in England. The company became a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Central Lancashire in July 2017.

Approximately 80 per cent of its revenue is from the Education and Skills Funding Agency, “of which around three quarters is for apprentice training,” the report said.

Leaders and managers were criticised for failing to ensure “that 16-to-19 study programmes fully meet the needs of learners; many learners do not stay to complete all aspects of their programmes”.

Managers do not have effective measures to improve weak teaching, learning and assessment practices

“Managers do not have effective measures to improve weak teaching, learning and assessment practices,” it warned.

A report was also published on Waltham Forest College in London, which went from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

“The good range and high quality of adult provision enable learners to improve their life chances and develop valuable personal, social and work-related skills,” inspectors said.

The large majority of teachers were also praised for setting interesting, relevant work, and using a wide range of teaching strategies to engage learners.

And from the independent sector, Key Training Limited also went from grade three to two.

This report recognised how there had been a “relentless leadership focus on the experience of all learners has resulted in significant improvements to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and to levels of achievement”.

Key Training provides apprenticeships for all age groups, both with levy and non-levy employers, traineeships and study programmes.

Its provision is national, with “study programmes delivered from a centre in Wellingborough”.

Referring to its apprenticeships, the inspectors said that “the good selection process and high quality of information, advice and guidance have led to an increased proportion of apprentices who sustain their employment, remain on their programmes and progress to higher-level courses”.

There were short inspection results published for ProVQ Limited; JBC Skills Training Limited; QDOS Training Limited; Tower College Of Further And Higher Education London; Superdrug Stores; The Cornwall Council; and Leicester Adult Skills & Learning.


GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Waltham Forest College06/02/201819/03/201823


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Key Training Limited20/02/201823/03/201823


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Slough Pit Stop Project Limited21/02/201822/03/201823
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council12/02/201819/03/201823
Hampshire Futures06/02/201819/03/201823
Training 2000 Limited06/02/201819/03/201832


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
ProVQ Limited13/02/201823/03/2018
JBC Skills Training Limited12/02/201823/03/2018
QDOS Training Limited15/02/201820/03/2018
Tower College Of Further And Higher Education London19/02/201819/03/2018
The Cornwall Council20/02/201823/03/2018
Leicester Adult Skills & Learning20/02/201820/03/2018
Superdrug Stores13/02/201819/03/2018

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