Ofsted watch: Private provider straight in with grade one

It’s been a week of mainly highs for FE as one provider was rated ‘outstanding’ in its first ever inspection, while another was found making ‘significant progress’ across the board in an early monitoring visit.

The week wasn’t without its lows, however, as several providers scored ‘insufficient progress’ ratings in their own monitoring reports.

White Rose School of Beauty and Complementary Therapies Limited went straight in with a grade one after winning an adult learning and apprenticeships contract in 2016.

The provider has trained more than 700 learners over the last year, and its report recognised how the principal has “successfully implemented an ambitious strategic vision to provide outstanding training in beauty and complementary therapies that meets the needs of local and national industries”.

“Well-qualified tutors have extensive industry experience,” inspectors found.

Learners make “very rapid progress in the development of their vocational skills; the very large majority go on to achieve their qualifications”.

Another private provider, Development Manager Limited, which has 171 apprentices training in computer software development, technical support and engineering, or digital marketing, made ‘significant progress’ in all three areas of an early monitoring visit.

“Senior managers and governors, led by the chief executive, have a very distinct and positive approach to the delivery of apprenticeships,” inspectors wrote.

“They are clear that the development of positive behaviours and attitudes is as important as the development of new knowledge and skills.”

Two providers that were rated ‘requires improvement’ last year – Newcastle upon Tyne City Council and Learn Plus Us – were also found to be making ‘significant progress’ in at least one field judged.

Things are not so rosy at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which made ‘insufficient progress’ in two areas of a monitoring visit.

“Most trust employees who become apprentices already have the practical skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for the apprenticeship,” inspectors wrote.

“Consequently, the apprenticeship is of little benefit and does not develop or extend the apprentices’ knowledge, skills and behaviours.”

WDR Limited was found to have made ‘insufficient progress’ across the board after inspectors found staff at an employer were being forced onto their apprenticeship programme. You can read FE Week’s full story about this report here.

Meanwhile, the Paddington Development Trust, a private provider, was hit with a grade three in its first Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors found that trustees and senior leaders “do not have a secure enough oversight of the quality of provision and do not use the data available to them well enough to bring about improvement where needed”.

Chadsgrove Educational Trust Learning Centre, an independent specialist college, also received a grade three in its first inspection.

Ofsted said directors, managers and staff are “not suitably experienced in working with students in further education settings”.

The centre opened to provide provision for young people aged 19 to 25 with a physical disability and/or complex medical need in 2016.

Senior leaders were criticised for focussing too much on securing funding and seeking off-site accommodation away from the main site, and not having “sufficient focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment”.

Greater Peterborough UTC also received a grade three from its first inspection.

In the first year of the UTC accepting students, “too much emphasis was placed on maximising pupil numbers and too little attention was given to matching pupils’ interests and aspirations to the UTC’s curriculum,” according to Ofsted.

“This contributed to the first set of results last summer being very poor.”

Meanwhile six providers – Central Training Academy Limited, JGW Training Limited, Trainingplatform Ltd, Linden Management (UK) Limited, Complete Lean Solutions, and Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College – all made ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in their various monitoring visits.

Babington Business College Limited retained its grade two in a short Ofsted inspection.

GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College06/03/201922/03/2019MMRRRRRR


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Central Training Academy Limited30/01/201918/03/2019M3RRRR
Learn Plus Us27/02/201920/03/2019M3SRRR
The White Rose School of Beauty and Complementary Therapies Limited12/02/201922/03/20191N/A
The Development Manager Limited20/02/201921/03/2019MMSSS
JGW Training Limited13/02/201920/02/2019MMRRR
Trainingplatform Ltd12/01/201921/03/2019MMRRR
Linden Management (UK) Limited20/02/201918/03/2019MMRRR
WDR Limited19/02/201918/03/2019MMIII
Complete Lean Solutions Limited27/02/201918/03/2019MMRRR
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust29/01/201921/01/2019MMIIR
Paddington Development Trust06/02/201920/03/20193N/A


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council13/02/201919/03/2019M3SRRRR


Specialist collegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Chadsgrove Educational Trust Learning Centre27/02/201922/03/20193N/A


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Greater Peterborough UTC12/02/201918/03/20193N/A


Short inspections (remains grade 2)InspectedPublished
Babington Business College Limited06/02/201919/02/2019

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