Ofsted watch: Three providers improve to ‘good’

Three providers – including two colleges – have boosted their grades from three to two this week, while one provider went the other way.

Elsewhere it’s been a busy week for monitoring visits, with nine reports published – six for new apprenticeship visits, and three for grade three providers.

MidKent College and Northampton College were both rated ‘good’ – up from their previous ‘requires improvement’ grades – in reports published on December 6.

Leaders, managers and governors at MidKent College were praised for having “developed a highly student-centred ethos” which “permeates the college”, in a report based on an inspection in mid-November.

Staff were found to be “proud to work” at the college and, thanks to their willingness to “engage fully in a strong programme of professional development” teaching, learning and assessment had “substantially improved” since the last inspection in January 2017.

Learners made “good progress” in their studies, and standards of work for apprentices in their workplaces was also good.

But apprentice achievement was “too low” and “not enough” of the “large number” of learners resitting GCSE English and maths got high grades.

Northampton College was rated ‘good’ for overall effectiveness and in six headline fields in a report based on an inspection in late October.

Its apprenticeship provision was rated grade three – but its provision for learners with high needs was deemed ‘outstanding’.

“These students make exceptional progress with their independent living skills and with their achievement of qualifications,” the report said.

“Most teaching” at the college enables apprentices and learners to “develop good standards of practical skills rapidly”.

However, leaders’ and managers’ “actions to improve the quality of apprenticeship provision have not yet had sufficient impact”.

The Growth Company Limited, an independent learning provider based in Manchester, was also rated ‘good’ – up from its previous grade three – in a report published December 7 and based on an inspection in late October.

Governors and leaders at the provider, which offers study programmes, adult learning and apprenticeships, “promote a highly inclusive ethos”, according to inspectors.

“Programmes successfully engage apprentices and learners who face barriers to learning and employment,” it said.

Apprentices and learners were found to “develop good practical skills and produce work of a high standard”.

A “high proportion” of adults achieve “useful qualifications that help them to gain employment or progress to higher education”.

North East Lincolnshire Council saw its grade fall to ‘inadequate’, down from its previous ‘requires improvement’ rating, in a report published December 5 and based on an inspection in early November.

As previously reported by FE Week, its rating was dragged down by “over-optimistic” leadership and management.

Six new apprenticeship providers had early monitoring visit reports published this week.

As previously reported by FE Week, two of these resulted in ‘insufficient progress’ verdicts on two out of three themes under review: Premier Nursing Agency Limited, and AMS Nationwide.

The remaining four were all found to be making reasonable progress in all three areas: System People Limited, Dutton Fisher Associates Limited, Intelligencia Training Limited and BIS Henderson Limited.

A further three providers had reports published as part of Ofsted’s monitoring of providers rated ‘requires improvement’. These were St Helens College, Stoke on Trent College, and independent provider MI ComputSolutions Incorporated.

GFE colleges Inspected Published  Grade Previous grade
St Helens College 17/10/2018 30/11/2018 M M
MidKent College 13/11/2018 06/12/2018 2 3
Northampton College 30/10/2018 06/12/2018 2 3
Stoke on Trent College 12/11/2018 02/12/2018 M M


Independent learning providers Inspected Published  Grade Previous grade
System People Limited 24/10/2018 04/12/2018 M M
Dutton Fisher Associates Limited 31/10/2018 05/12/2018 M M
Intelligencia Training Limited 23/10/2018 03/12/2018 M M
BIS Henderson Limited 30/10/2018 03/12/2018 M M
AMS Nationwide 24/10/2018 04/12/2018 M M
Premier Nursing Agency Limited 23/10/2018 03/12/2018 M M
The Growth Company Limited 30/10/2108 07/12/2018 2 3
MI ComputSolutions Incorporated 31/10/2018 05/12/2018 M M


Adult and community learning providers Inspected Published  Grade Previous grade
North East Lincolnshire Council 06/11/2018 05/12/2018 4 3

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