Ofsted watch: UTC jumps from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’

A university technical college was celebrating this week after it climbed its way up from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’, while six other providers also secured grade two ratings.

But the week wasn’t without its lows, as one provider dropped to ‘inadequate’, three received ‘insufficient’ ratings in early monitoring reports, and another fell from grade one to three.

Bolton UTC, which was given a grade four in October 2017, was lauded by inspectors this week after its acting principal and senior leadership team oversaw “rapid improvements in every aspect” of the 14 to 19 college, at the same time as developing an “inclusive and supportive community”.

Inspectors found the quality of teaching and learning at the now grade two UTC has improved since their last visit, leading to students, including those with special education needs or disabilities, making good progress.

Elsewhere, St Mary’s College, a Catholic sixth form college in Blackburn, saw its rating improve from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Inspectors found that governors, leaders, managers and staff have created an “aspirational culture” and now provide a “high-quality education which supports students to fulfil their potential”.

Ofsted also upped Brighter Futures Merseyside’s grade from three to two this week.

Inspectors reported that tutors at the private provider have “very good subject knowledge” and direct experience of the sectors in which they teach, and learners benefit from “high-quality” resources and sector-specific digital technologies that they will encounter in future employment.

LIPA Sixth Form College was awarded ‘outstanding’ across the board in its first-ever full inspection. The Liverpool-based free school for 16-18 year olds was found to have created a culture in which staff have “very high expectations”, with students aspiring to reach “exceptionally high standards” in their written work and practical skills.

Inspectors also said students benefit from “consistently high-quality teaching from dedicated, inspirational and experienced tutors” and a “well planned” project-based study programme.

The London College of Beauty Therapy also received a grade two, going up from a three. The report said lecturers and assessors plan learning well, and engage learners to that they make good progress and achieve their potential.

It was also a good week to Envisage and Debut Training Academy, which were both given grade twos in their very first full inspection report.

Ofsted found the large majority of learners at Envisage achieve their qualifications and do so within the planned time and pursue higher level study or move into employment or more demanding work roles afterwards.

Learners and apprentices at Debut Training Academy were found to gain good skills that make them employable within the “competitive” beauty industry.

Meanwhile, the Reynolds Group maintained its ‘good’ rating with Ofsted.

However, Moor Training, EMA Training and Vogal Group were found making ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one field judged in their early monitoring visits of their new apprenticeship provision.

Ofsted said Moor Training’s leaders and managers have “insufficient knowledge to develop and provide a fully successful apprenticeship programme”, and do not evaluate the quality of on and off-the-job training accurately because “they do not know how to do so”.

EMA Training was rated ‘insufficient’ across the board after Ofsted found leaders and managers do not monitor the delivery of the programmes “effectively” and “do not understand fully” the quality of apprentices’ experiences or the slow progress they made, according to the visit report.

Vogal Group received one ‘insufficient’ rating as Ofsted found its safeguarding arrangements are “not effective”.

And ProCo NW Limited, a private provider based in Wigan, went from a grade three to a four after inspectors found the quality of provision has “not improved sufficiently”.

The provider’s leadership and management of subcontracted courses, which account for almost half of the provision, are “poor”, and achievements are “too low” for apprentices.

Meanwhile, adult and community learning provider Education and Training Skills Ltd fell from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’, after Ofsted found the quality and effectiveness of its provision has “declined progressively”.

Inspectors said the standards of training and support apprentices receive are not consistently high and that too many apprentices are not making the progress they should be making.

Simian Risk Management Ltd, in its first full inspection, was rated ‘requires improvement’ after inspectors found the private provider has been slow to “prioritise” improving the quality of teaching and learning.

Pennine Camphill Community, in the meantime, received two ‘insufficient progress’ and one ‘reasonable’ in a monitoring visit after it was rated grade three in April 2018, and NCG, the country’s largest college group, was found making ‘reasonable progress’ in all areas after being judged ‘requires improvement’ in May last year.

Five private providers – Crown Vocational Training Limited, TRS Training Limited, First Intuition Bristol Limited, Royal British Legion Industries and Developing ‘U’ Ltd – were found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ across the board in early monitoring visits of their new apprenticeship provision, while another, Runway Apprenticeships Limited, was found making ‘significant progress’.

Beacon Education Partnership received one ‘insufficient’ and three ‘reasonable’ progress judgements in a monitoring report that took place after it was rated grade three last year.

And finally, employer provider Select Service Partner UK Ltd maintained its ‘requires improvement’ rating.

Independent Learning ProvidersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Beacon Education Partnership Limited05/03/201904/04/2019M3RIRRR
Debut Training Academy Limited05/03/201903/04/20192n/a
Crown Vocational Training Limited07/03/201902/04/2019MMRRR
Vogal Group Limited27/02/201903/04/2019Mn/aRRI
Runway Apprenticeships Limited28/02/201903/04/2019MMSSR
TRS Training Limited13/03/201903/04/2019MMRRR
EMA Training Limited27/02/201903/04/2019MMIIR
First Intuition Bristol Limited05/03/201903/04/2019MMRRR
Royal British Legion Industries19/03/201904/03/2019MMRRR
Simian Risk Management Ltd05/03/201905/04/20193n/a
Developing ‘U’ Ltd06/03/201903/04/2019Mn/aRRR
Moor Traning Ltd13/03/201905/04/2019Mn/aIRI
The London College of Beauty Therapy Ltd12/02/201930/03/201923
ProCo NW Limited12/02/201902/04/201943
Brighter Futures Merseyside Limited26/02/201901/04/201923
The Reynolds Group Limited26/02/201903/04/201922


Sixth Form CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
St Mary’s College27/02/201904/04/201923


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Education and Training Skills Ltd12/03/201901/04/201931


Employer providersInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Select Service Partner UK Ltd26/02/201901/04/201933


Other (including UTCs)InspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Bolton UTC13/03/201903/04/201924


Specialist collegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Pennine Camphill Community13/03/201902/04/2019M3IIR


GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade


Sixth Form CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
LIPA Sixth Form College26/02/201901/04/20191n/a

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