A university technical college stood out this week for the right reasons – it was rated ‘good’ in its first ever inspection.

General FE colleges didn’t reach the same heights, with two large college groups dropping to ‘requires improvement’ while another received a second consecutive ‘inadequate’ report.

UTC Warrington was given a grade two after being commended for its effective governance and teaching since opening in September 2016.

Inspectors said the UTC has developed and improved over its first three years and that a very low number of pupils leave the college without continuing their education or taking up apprenticeships.

They added that leaders know what the college does well and what it still needs to do to improve, and is prepared to address aspects that have not been fully successful.

University of Brighton also received a grade two rating in its first inspection, after “successfully” developing apprenticeships.

The education watchdog said the leaders and managers work well with the local NHS trusts to ensure their staff develop new skills and knowledge, and have taken effective action to recruit experienced and highly qualified staff into leadership and teaching positions.

Another HE provider, University of Bradford, made ‘reasonable progress’ in its first monitoring visit since it started delivering apprenticeships in January last year, after being found to have established a “clear rationale” for the delivery of the apprenticeship programme.

But it was bad news for Hull College, which fell from a grade two to a grade three after Ofsted founds the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is “not yet consistently good” across all types of provision.

Managers of the college, which teaches over 15,000 students, were accused of being too slow to address the programme’s weaknesses, resulting in apprentices making slow progress and not being challenged sufficiently to reach their full potential.

Cornwall College was also rated ‘requires improvement’ this week, down from ‘good’.

Ofsted said leaders’ and managers’ initiatives to improve quality have “yet to show a significant impact”.

Teaching, learning and assessment and students’ achievements are improving, “but are not yet good enough across all programmes and training routes”.

Governors “have not challenged leaders and managers sufficiently to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment”.

The downgrade follows news that the college secured a £30 million government bailout to drive forward its “fresh start” business plan.

And Moulton College retained its grade four rating, with Ofsted criticising leaders and governors for failing to improve its performance.

It was also bad news for employer provider Goodman Masson Limited, which was given two ‘insufficient progress’ ratings and one ‘reasonable’. Leaders were accused of overlooking the need for apprentices to complete externally awarded qualifications as part of their apprenticeships.

More successful was Norwich City College of Further and Higher Education, which was found to have made ‘significant progress’ since its merger with Paston Sixth Form College in December 2017. Cambridge Regional College also made ‘significant progress’ in two provisions and ‘reasonable progress’ in another following its merger with Huntingdon Regional College in August 2017.

Lancaster and Morecambe College was found to have made ‘reasonable progress’ across all provisions following a grade three report last April.

Two specialist colleges, Goldwyn Sixth Form College and Brentwood Community College, also received monitoring visits after previously being rated grade three. The former made ‘reasonable progress’ in one provision, ‘insufficient’ in another and ‘significant’ in another, while the latter made ‘reasonable progress’ across all provisions.

Elsewhere, it was an average week for private providers with four – Performance Learning Group Ltd, Steve Willis Training Ltd, North Humberside Motor Trades GTA and PBC Associates Limited – making ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in early monitoring visits.

Enabling Development Opportunities made ‘reasonable progress’ in two areas but ‘insufficient progress’ in one provision since being given grade three rating.

And following its grade four rating last year, DV8 Training (Brighton) Limited was found to have been made good progress after introducing “well-designed” traineeships as a short-term method of fulfilling their commitment to the small number of new students who were expecting to be on a study programme.

Showcase Training made ‘significant progress’ in its first visit. Inspectors said leaders have prioritised the quality of training and maintained the confidence of employers while having a clear strategy and vision for the organisation in the childcare sector.

Lastly, adult learning provider North East Lincolnshire Council made ‘significant progress’ in one provision and reasonable progress in two areas after being given a grade four last year, and employer provider Unipres (UK) Limited made ‘reasonable progress’ across all areas in its early monitoring visit of its apprenticeship provision.

GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Hull College07/05/201918/06/201932
Cambridge Regional College09/05/201919/06/2019Mn/a
The Cornwall College Group14/05/201920/06/201932
Lancaster and Morecambe College08/05/201919/06/2019M3
Norwich City College of Further and Higher Education09/05/201919/06/2019Mn/a
Moulton College30/04/201919/06/201944


Independent Specialist CollegeInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Goldwyn Sixth Form College15/05/201918/06/2019M3
Brentwood Community College09/05/201919/06/2019M3


Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
DV8 TRAINING (BRIGHTON) LIMITED21/05/201921/06/2019M4
Enabling Development Opportunities Ltd23/05/201918/06/2019M3
Performance Learning Group Ltd16/05/201920/06/2019Mn/a
Showcase Training21/05/201919/06/2019Mn/a
Steve Willis Training Ltd15/05/201920/06/2019Mn/a
North Humberside Motor Trades GTA21/05/201921/06/2019M3
PBC Associates Limited15/05/201921/06/2019M2


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
North East Lincolnshire Council14/05/201917/06/2019M4


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Unipres (Uk) Limited14/05/201917/06/2019Mn/a
Goodman Masson Limited09/05/201919/06/2019Mn/a


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
UTC Warrington14/05/201920/06/20192n/a
University of Bradford21/05/201917/06/2019Mn/a
University of Brighton14/05/201918/06/20192n/a

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