Ofsted watch: Improvement for struggling FE providers

A training provider previously banned from taking on any new apprentices and a formerly ‘inadequate’ council have been making strong improvements, monitoring visits have found.

Key6 Group had its first revisit from Ofsted last month since it was told its delivery was “not fit for purpose” in March, as part of the inspectorate’s investigations into new apprenticeship providers.

Its latest monitoring visit, published yesterday, only reviewed the provider’s safeguarding arrangements, of which ‘significant progress’ is being made.

“Leaders and managers took seriously the significant weaknesses for safeguarding,” inspectors said.

“They have worked tirelessly to ensure that the safeguarding arrangements have improved significantly and these now meet the provider’s statutory duties.”

Key6’s first monitoring visit report, which found all areas including safeguarding to be making ‘insufficient progress’, was so bad that skills minister Anne Milton immediately put a stop to it taking on any new apprentices.

The ban was however lifted two months later because “there was demand from employers” to use the provider, according to the ESFA.

Despite this, Ofsted’s new monitoring report noted that the group has “not recruited any new apprentices since February 2018”.

Ofsted is expected to conduct a full inspection of Key6 later this year.

The Wiltshire Council, which was rated ‘inadequate’ in December 2016 before improving to ‘requires improvement’ in January this year, was also found to be making “good progress” in a new monitoring visit of its provision.

“Tutors have received appropriate training and are now taking a qualification to equip them to provide advice and guidance more effectively to learners before they start their courses and to prepare them for their next steps,” inspectors said.

“Managers now routinely and regularly undertake formal and informal observations of teaching and learning.”

Ofsted also published a monitoring visit report into ‘new’ apprenticeship provider KPMG Limited Liability Partnership this week.

The company is a member of the global KPMG network of professional services firms, and currently trains 366 apprentices for Civil Service Learning.

It was found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ in the three headline fields judged.

“Leaders and managers have a clear strategic purpose and direction to use their expertise in professional services to deliver high-quality apprenticeships,” inspectors said.

“They work in close partnership with CSL to deliver apprenticeships designed to meet skills shortages within civil service departments.”

Lastly, there was a short inspection report published for private training provider Didac Limited, in which the Bristol-based provider maintained its ‘good’ rating.

“The teaching and assessment of practical skills are good,” Ofsted said.

“As a result, apprentices and learners develop very good practical skills and self-confidence, and a high proportion achieve their qualifications.”


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Key6 Group Limited17/07/201809/08/2018MM
KPMG Limited Liability Partnership11/07/201806/08/2018MM


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
The Wiltshire Council04/07/201808/08/2018MM


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
Didac Limited10/07/201806/08/2018

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  1. Some positives in the Ofsted watch this week, good news for some!

    I’m afraid I’ve lost all faith in inspections though. I’ve just heard how a provider got a grade 3 and most definitely is a 4, learners not progressing, ILPs not completed 6 months in, learners not seen 3 months in, learners signed up without an Assessor, complaints coming out their ears, sub contracting out and not declaring and the list goes on……….

    Having worked in quality for many years I feel I can say what inadequate looks like! I’m going to be retraining to do something else like stacking shelves as the type of judgement I’m referring to i.e. a grade 3 instead of 4 judgement makes a mockery of all the hard work people in quality do. People responsible for driving quality and reading this might want to consider a career change its not worth the stress and sleepless nights for inspections to be so inaccurate.