Ofsted watch: Terrific week for FE as slew of reports return mostly positive results

It’s been a week of celebrations for most providers, as nearly 40 reports have returned mainly positive results.

A highlight was Lincoln UTC, which climbed from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’, but scored a grade one in three areas of its inspection.

Its report reads: “The determined and ambitious leadership of the principal, senior leaders and governors has rapidly transformed the quality of provision at the college.”

Another UTC, Energy Coast, excelled from grade three to grade one, winning admittance to an exclusive club of such institutions with a grade one – the only other is UTC Reading.

Adult and community provider North Yorkshire County Council rose from grade three to two, thanks to effective action to improve provision.

Leaders have focused available resources “effectively” to establish a curriculum that targets the most disadvantaged and vulnerable residents, and through the skills learners gain, they “engage more actively as citizens in their communities”.

New Directions – The Learning and Employment Service for Reading maintained its grade two rating for the third consecutive inspection.

While leaders and managers have not rectified every weakness from the last inspection, they have made sure the learning and employment service continues to provide a good educational experience, and high-quality information technology has been installed in most classrooms.

Plymouth City Council let the adult and community providers down though, dropping from grade two to three for a decline in its quality of teaching, learning, assessment, and outcomes for learners.

Staff at independent provider Skills Edge Training, with 160 apprentices, were praised for working “effectively with partners to ensure provision meets local and national skills needs”, and it went from grade three to two, following a monitoring visit.

The Business Portfolio (UK) scored a ‘reasonable progress’ rating for its safeguarding provision, after a previous ‘insufficient progress’ rating. Inspectors said the provider must ensure the designated safeguarding officer and their deputy attend advanced safeguarding training.

After BPP University achieved a grade two last month, its sister independent provider BPP Actuarial Education made ‘significant progress’ in every area of provision to 39 apprentices, in a report published this week.

The Learning Foundry maintained its grade two, as: “Governors, leaders and managers have taken incisive and effective action to eradicate poor quality provision.”

WDR Limited scored ‘reasonable progress’ for its safeguarding of 60 apprentices, thanks to quick and effective action after its last monitoring visit found it had made ‘insufficient progress’ in the area.

And a making ‘insufficient progress’ in all three areas of a previous monitoring visit, Arriva London North and its 68 apprentices can take comfort in achieving ‘reasonable progress’ in safeguarding from its latest visit.

Specialist college Uplands Educational Trust scored two ‘significant progress’ and one ‘reasonable progress’ ratings for using a “variety” of assessment methods to accurately identify learners’ English and maths knowledge.

Arden College kept its grade two because leaders and managers have continued to foster highly effective partnerships with employers and community bodies.

SupaJam Education In Music and Media scored a grade two in its very first inspection; inspectors reported a “well-defined, ambitious mission for the college.”

Community College Initiative’s first outing did not go as well: it got a grade three for its directors not having sufficient knowledge of the quality of learning.

FE college Askham Bryan College was found to have “effective” procedures for keeping learners safe, and a “rigorous” system to monitor and report safeguarding problems.

USP College scored three ‘reasonable progress’ and a ‘significant progress’ ratings; leaders have carefully redesigned courses since Seevic College merged with Palmer’s College to form USP.

Suffolk New College received an ‘insufficient progress’ rating for “weak” arrangements to keep learners safe.

Eleven independent providers scored ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in monitoring visits; these were: Absolute Care Training & Education; Canal Engineering; Coleg Cambria; Construction Works (Hull); Everton in the Community; Excellence-Solutions; Innovative Alliance; On Course South West Cic; Presidency London College; Skillcert Limited; and The Federation of Groundwork Trusts.

The two universities which had Ofsted inspections of their apprenticeship provision published this week achieved three ‘reasonable progress’ ratings: University of Chester and University of Exeter.

Furthermore, both employer providers which had reports published this week, Wealden Leisure and Young & Co.’s Brewery, got three ‘reasonable progress’ ratings.

Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Absolute Care Training & Education Ltd 19/06/2019 08/07/2019 M N/A
Arriva London North Limited 25/06/2019 08/07/2019 M M
BPP Actuarial Education Limited 20/06/2019 11/07/2019 M N/A
Canal Engineering Limited 30/05/2019 10/07/2019 M N/A
Coleg Cambria 20/06/2019 10/07/2019 M N/A
Construction Works (Hull) Limited 05/06/2019 08/07/2019 M N/A
Everton in the Community 05/06/2019 10/07/2019 M N/A
Excellence-Solutions Limited 19/06/2019 09/07/2019 M N/A
Innovative Alliance Limited 13/06/2019 12/07/2019 M N/A
On Course South West Cic 11/06/2019 10/07/2019 M N/A
Presidency London College Limited 21/06/2019 09/07/2019 M N/A
Skills Edge Training Ltd 04/06/2019 12/07/2019 2 3
Skillcert Limited 13/06/2019 12/07/2019 M N/A
The Business Portfolio (UK) Limited 27/06/2019 11/07/2019 M M
The Federation Of Groundwork Trusts 27/06/2019 09/07/2019 M N/A
The Learning Foundry Limited 11/06/2019 09/07/2019 2 2
The World Of Work Limited 06/06/2019 12/07/2019 M N/A
WDR Limited 12/06/2019 10/07/2019 M M


Adult and Community Learning Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
New Directions – The Learning and Employment Service for Reading 05/06/2019 09/07/2019 2 2
North Yorkshire County Council 04/06/2019 08/07/2019 2 3
Plymouth City Council 11/06/2019 10/07/2019 3 2


Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Wealden Leisure Limited 30/06/2019 11/07/2019 M N/A
Young & Co.’s Brewery P.L.C. 05/06/2019 09/07/2019 M N/A


Other (including UTCs) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
University of Chester 26/06/2019 12/07/2019 M N/A
University of Exeter 06/06/2019 09/07/2019 M N/A
Lincoln UTC 11/06/2019 08/07/2019 2 3
Energy Coast UTC 05/06/2019 10/07/2019 1 3


Specialist colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Arden College 18/06/2019 12/07/2019 2 2
Community College Initiative Ltd 05/06/2019 09/07/2019 3 N/A
SupaJam Education In Music and Media 11/06/2019 12/07/2019 2 N/A
Uplands Educational Trust 12/06/2019 12/07/2019 M 3


GFE Colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Askham Bryan College 12/06/2019 12/07/2019 M 2
Suffolk New College 13/06/2019 12/07/2019 M 2
USP College 05/06/2019 09/07/2019 M 3

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