Ofsted watch: Independent provider slumps two grades to inadequate

An independent training provider has slumped two grades to inadequate, in an otherwise mostly positive week for FE and skills providers.

Matrix Training and Development Limited was awarded grade four across the board in a report, published July 5 and based on an inspection carried out in May.

Leaders were slammed for failing to provide “effective strategic direction to develop the quality of the provision” and for the lack of a “strategy for the development of English and mathematical skills”.

Governance at the Telford-based apprenticeship provider, the performance management of staff and “assessors’ tracking and monitoring of apprentices’ progress” were all deemed to be “weak”.  

In addition: “The planning of learning is insufficient to ensure that the most able apprentices are challenged to extend their learning and all apprentices develop skills over and above the technical element of their qualification.”

Meanwhile, another independent learning provider, Partnership Development Solutions Ltd, was awarded ‘good’ across the board in its first ever report, published July 3 and based on an inspection in June.

Apprentices at the Wiltshire-based provider “benefit from good teaching, learning and assessment from well-qualified and experienced assessor-coaches” and “achieve high-level technical and business skills from very well designed and implemented programmes”.

“Almost all” apprentices stayed employed after completing their apprenticeship, with many developing “positive working relationships with managers and colleagues at work” as a result of the “exemplary” behaviour.

Two more independent learning providers were awarded grade two this week, both up from grade three.

Cardiff-based T2 Business Solutions, which delivers training in south west England, was praised for its “outstanding employability provision on study programmes” in a report published July 5 and based on an inspection in June.

“Most learners and apprentices acquire excellent personal and employment skills and make good progress in English and mathematics,” inspectors noted, while “trainers and assessors are particularly good at giving learners and apprentices personalised support to overcome most barriers to learning”.

Employers were said to be “impressed” at how quickly learners at Nottingham-based Academy Transformation Trust Further Education “acquire new skills”, in a report published July 3 and based on an inspection in June.

“The standard of learners’ and apprentices’ work is good and they develop good vocational skills,” the report noted, while “tutors have high expectations for learners and apprentices, plan lessons well and make learning interesting and enjoyable”.

Also going up one grade from three to two this week was adult and community learning provider Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, in a report published July 3 and based on an inspection in June.

Senior officers and governors at the council were lauded for having “thoroughly reviewed the service” and “successfully realigned it in order to meet the needs of the local community”.

“Managers and tutors are highly committed to providing high-quality adult learning, particularly for those who are socially disadvantaged, long-term unemployed or have limited educational attainment,” inspectors found.

Peterborough Regional College slipped one grade from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ in a report published July 4 and based on an inspection in May.

Governors were criticised for being “slow to challenge leaders to reverse the sharp decline in achievement for learners and apprentices”.

While inspectors found that the college’s new leadership team was “beginning to improve performance” they were “not yet ensuring good standards in teaching, learning and assessment across all subjects”.

Provision for learners with high needs was rated good, with these learners benefiting “from tailored learning programmes with carefully planned, high-quality support which prepares them well for adult life and work”.

Elstree UTC failed to improve on its previous grade three rating, in a report published June 30 and based on an inspection in May.

Provision in the 14 to 19 institution’s sixth form “requires improvement”, the report said.

“The good progress students make in their vocational learning is not yet matched in a range of other academic subjects,” inspectors noted.

Adult and community learning provider The Wiltshire Council was found to be making reasonable progress in three areas and insufficient progress in one area, in its second monitoring visit report following last December’s inadequate rating.

Two providers – Barking and Dagenham College, and adult and community learner provider Royal Borough of Greenwich – both kept their ‘good’ ratings following short inspections this week.

And Grimsby Institute’s report, which rated the college ‘outstanding’, as previously reported by FE Week, has now been published.  

GFE Colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Peterborough Regional College 23/05/2017 04/07/2017 3 2
Grimsby Institute for FE and HE 04/05/2017 03/07/2017 1 2


Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
t2 Business Solutions 06/06/2017 05/07/2017 2 3
Matrix Training and Development Limited 17/05/2017 05/07/2017 4 2
Partnership Development Solutions Ltd 06/06/2017 03/07/2017 2
Academy Transformation Trust FE 06/06/2017 03/07/2017 2 3


Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
The Wiltshire Council 19/06/2017 06/07/2017 M M
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council 06/06/2017 03/07/2017 2 3


Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
The Elstree UTC 24/05/2017 30/06/2017 3



Short inspections (remains grade 2) Inspected Published
Barking and Dagenham College 23/05/2017 30/06/2017
Royal Borough of Greenwich 17/05/2017 05/07/2017

More Supplements

LCG case latest: DfE defends overruling AEB tender scores

Marks awarded for an AEB tender question were overruled as part of quality assurance, DfE claims

Shane Chowen
Shane Chowen

Overseas FE teachers exempt from new immigration earnings thresholds

Ministers claim reforms would encourage 'big business' to invest in training for domestic workers

Anviksha Patel
Anviksha Patel

College ‘surprised’ at inspection just a year after ‘good’ result

'We were repeatedly told there had been no trigger and it was within the usual inspection cycle'

Billy Camden
Billy Camden

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *