Ofsted watch: Major energy company among swathe of ‘good’ results

A major energy firm was among six training providers to be rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in a positive week for the sector.

SSE Services PLC, the national utility company which providers energy to nine million households, kept its ‘good’ rating following a short inspection.

The employer provider has just over 150 apprentices who “benefit from a comprehensive training programme that enables them to become skilled craft workers across a wide range of roles within the utility industry,” according to the education watchdog.

Its report added that leaders and managers have “developed an apprenticeship curriculum that enables the company to address its need to recruit and train skilled staff to meet its core strategic business objectives in a highly competitive marketplace”.

Elsewhere, independent learning provider LookFantastic Training Limited, which had 269 apprentices at the time of the inspection, retained its grade two in a full inspection.

It offers a mix of hairdressing, engineering, information technology and business administration apprenticeships.

Ofsted reported that apprentices gain “substantial new skills, knowledge and behaviours” and those with special educational needs and disabilities “do as well as their peers”.

Trainers were also praised for working well with employers to plan and deliver effective links as well as combining regular assessment with constructive verbal feedback.

Two other independent learning providers maintained their ‘good’ grade following short inspections this week.

Achievement Training Limited‘s 250 apprentices are employed in public- and private-sector organisations located across the south west of England.

Inspectors found they benefit from a curriculum that is built on “close and productive relationships” with these employers in the region.

The effectiveness of the personal and professional support staff provide was considered a key strength of the provision.

Pilot IMS provides apprenticeship training nationally to 44 apprentices, and adult learning predominantly in the Midlands region to 35 learners.

The education watchdog said apprentices “grasp quickly new concepts and skills” due to trainers’ expert knowledge while adult learners also made “good progress” because of the support they receive from their trainers in and outside of the classroom.

In addition, it was reported that leaders worked “closely with employers to design a challenging curriculum for learners and apprentices to build their knowledge, skills and the behaviours needed for further learning and employment”.

Two adult and community learning providers, Gateshead Council and Kent Community Learning and Skills, also retained grade twos.

Ofsted said leaders, managers and staff at Gateshead Council “share the vision of the wider council to ensure that local communities thrive” while learners and apprentices also benefit from the support and care that they receive from their tutors and support workers.

At Kent Community Learning and Skills the inspectorate reported that tutors and assessors uses their subject and vocational expertise “well” and learners and apprentices were “well prepared” for their next steps.

The other adult and community learning provider graded this week, Stoke-on-Trent Unitary Authority, was found to be making ‘significant progress’ in one area and ‘reasonable progress’ ratings in the remaining three assessed themes in a monitoring visit after being declared ‘inadequate’.

Independent learning provider Templegate Training Academy CIC has also made ‘reasonable progress’ in a follow-up monitoring visit after receiving two ‘insufficient progress’ grades in its first.

Staffordshire University similarly was graded ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in a monitoring visit following a grade three rating.

However, Ashorne Hill Management College, the final independent learning provider to have an Ofsted report published this week, was found to be making ‘insufficient progress’ in two out of three assessed themes after an early monitoring visit.

Leaders and managers, who have a “long history” in delivering leadership and management programmes, have “not made sure that all apprentices receive their entitlement to study away from their job”.

They were also criticised for not tracking the progress apprentices make “well enough”.

The remaining FE providers to be rated this week both received grade threes.

Employer provider Took Us A Long Time Limited ‘requires improvement’, according to Ofsted, following its first full inspection. It was previously suspended from recruiting apprentices after it was found making ‘insufficient progress’ in an early monitoring report published in May.

United Colleges Group, a general FE college, also received a grade three in its first inspection since being established by a merger in August 2017. The grade has put the group’s planned T-levels delivery in jeopardy (full story here).


Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Achievement Training Limited 09/01/2020 27/01/2020 2 2
Ashorne Hill Management College 15/01/2020 29/01/2020 M N/A
Lookfantastic Training Limited 17/01/2020 30/01/2020 2 2
Pilot IMS Limited 09/01/2020 30/01/2020 2 2
Templegate Training Academy CIC 09/01/2020 30/01/2020 M M


Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Gateshead Council 15/01/2020 30/01/2020 2 2
Kent Community Learning and Skills 13/12/2020 27/01/2020 2 2
Stoke-on-Trent Unitary Authority 14/01/2020 28/01/2020 M 4


Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
SSE Services PLC 08/01/2020 28/01/2020 2 2
Took Us A Long Time Limited 10/01/2020 29/01/2020 3 M


Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Staffordshire University 14/01/2020 27/01/2020 M 3


General FE colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
United Colleges Group 13/12/2019 29/01/2020 3 N/A

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.