Ofsted watch: Healthcare providers criticised in ‘outstanding’ week for colleges

Two healthcare providers have been told to get in shape while one college was found to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted this week.

Divad Training will likely be struck off from new apprenticeship starts after inspectors found it had made ‘insufficient progress’ in two areas.

It trains 425 learners in mostly health and social care and childcare sectors, but inspectors said leaders and managers do not ensure the apprentices, recruited by brokers, “understand they are on an apprenticeship programme”.

The inspectorate also found Divad’s tutors and managers have been adapting training and assessment from frameworks to their equivalent standards by redesigning paperwork, rather than developing high-quality training.

The independent training provider did make ‘reasonable progress’ in safeguarding.

Fairway Training (Healthcare) Ltd was also delivered some bad news this week, making the same progress as Divad.

Inspectors found most of the provider’s 14 apprentices make slow progress and “leaders and managers do not have a clear oversight of apprenticeship training”.

The report reads that although appointing a well-qualified and experienced trainer has improved this area, “for almost a year apprentices did not receive high-quality off-the-job training”.

This week marked the first grade one for a further education college – Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group – under Ofsted’s new inspection framework.

Principal Karen Dobson called the result “absolutely brilliant” and a testament to the “hard work, talent and total commitment of our staff team”.

Elsewhere, Leeds College of Building went up from a grade three to a two, with inspectors writing it is “well-led” and students and apprentices enjoy their time there and “the inclusive environment in which they study and learn”.

The curriculum meets the specific needs of the construction and the built environment sectors, and is informed and developed through “highly-effective” links with employer groups.

Birmingham Metropolitan College has recovered some ground from its grade three with a monitoring visit that found it making ‘reasonable progress’ in all areas.

A new chair has led the board to “increase its level of focus and scrutiny of the actions being taken by leaders and managers to raise standards and promote improvement across the institution”.

Specialist provider Strathmore College, which has 35 learners, received a grade two this week after previously receiving a grade three.

This was attributed to strong leadership and governance having led to rapid improvements since the previous inspection.

National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries earned a grade three this week from its first full inspection.

The report also exposed how the college, which received a £600,000 bailout in 2018, had only 24 classroom students.

Meanwhile Stoke-on-Trent College was slapped with its third consecutive grade three.

Leaders and managers have not had enough time to develop their curriculum for the 2,600 learners and 583 apprentices, so “too many courses are not sufficiently challenging for learners’ ambitions”.

But most learners enjoy their time there and inspectors noted how leaders have now created a sound financial basis to improve the quality of provision.

Several independent providers scored grade two this week, including Firebrand Training with its 558 apprentices.

Those 558 were studying IT courses and were reported as being “exemplary,” with “an appetite to learn” and “impeccable” conduct which earned their provider an ‘outstanding’ grade for behaviour and attitudes.

Ginger Nut Media, which has 180 apprentices, scored ‘good’ across the board in its first full inspection.

Many apprentices progress in their careers because of the training, the report reads, gaining greater responsibilities or promotions.

JCB Academy’s strong reputation for supplying well-trained engineering apprentices, of which it has 258, would not have been hurt by a grade two this week.

“Owing to the thorough preparation and precise delivery of theory and practical training,” inspectors wrote, the apprentices “make good progress and achieve good results”.

Another independent provider which earned a grade two this week was Skills North East.

Its 91 adult learners hone their skills in professional salon and gym environments by performing treatments on each other or paying clients.

Aside from Birmingham Metropolitan College, the other providers which received all ‘reasonable progress’ ratings in monitoring visits were Training 4 Careers (UK), Guard Business Solutions, Clifford College, Eden Training and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Birmingham Metropolitan College15/10/201911/11/2019M3
Leeds College of Building22/10/201912/11/201923
Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group22/10/201914/11/20191N/A
Stoke-on-Trent College08/10/201911/11/201933


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Clifford College15/10/201911/11/2019MN/A
Divad Training Limited22/10/201915/11/2019MN/A
Eden Training Limited16/10/201915/11/2019MM
Fairway Training (Healthcare) Limited23/10/201911/11/2019MN/A
Firebrand Training Limited08/10/201913/11/20192M
Ginger Nut Media Limited17/09/201914/11/20192M
Guard Business Solutions Limited29/10/201915/11/2019MN/A
JCB Academy08/10/201913/11/20192N/A
Skills North East22/10/201913/11/201923
Training 4 Careers (UK) Limited03/10/201911/11/2019MN/A


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust23/10/201913/11/2019MN/A


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries08/10/201913/11/20193N/A


Specialist collegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Strathmore College22/10/201912/11/201923

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