Provider fights back over ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating

The provider blamed Covid-19 for withdrawals over the last two years

The provider blamed Covid-19 for withdrawals over the last two years

24 Jan 2022, 6:00

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Two independent training providers face being struck off the government’s apprenticeship register after receiving ‘inadequate’ Ofsted ratings – but one is challenging the inspectorate.

The Chartered Institute of Housing is a charity and independent learning provider based in Coventry that runs apprenticeships for 198 people, in housing and property management at levels 2, 3 and 4.

Following an inspection of CIH’s apprenticeship delivery in November, Ofsted deemed the provider ‘inadequate’ in four out of five categories.

“The quality of education that apprentices receive is inadequate. In most cases, tutors and associates do not provide apprentices with the teaching and support they need to gain significant new knowledge, skills and behaviours,” inspectors said.

Ofsted said that many apprentices lose motivation for their apprenticeship over time due to the poor-quality training they receive. As a result, too many apprentices are making slow progress and withdraw from their programme.

“We are disappointed with the result of the recent Ofsted inspection of our apprenticeship programme, and we accept that we need to implement significant changes,” said Sarah Dunkerley, director of professional development at the Chartered Institute of Housing.

“We are disheartened that some areas of good practice were not reflected – such as our 100 per cent success rate, with 48 per cent achieving distinction grades.”

Dunkerley told FE Week that her organisation has challenged a number of findings from the inspection, particularly surrounding withdrawals from the programme as they felt this did not reflect the reality of the circumstances in recent months and years.

“Given the difficulties caused by Covid-19, the predominant cause of withdrawal over the past two years has been the pandemic, which unfortunately was not recognised,” she said.

“We are now waiting for a meeting with the ESFA to discuss further action. Our understanding is that we will be able to continue to offer our apprenticeship provision to those that we currently have on programme,” Dunkerley added.

Another provider, Construction Works (Hull) Limited, was deemed inadequate in three out of four categories after being inspected between October 12 and 14, 2021.

The company provides apprenticeships mainly in engineering operations and fabrication and welding across the city of Hull.

At the time of the inspection, there were 46 apprentices in training. Inspectors said that the provider failed to maintain the stronger aspects of the provision identified at their previous monitoring visit in June 2019.

“Temporary changes to leadership over the last 15 months have contributed to a significant decline in standards,” inspectors added.

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  1. Phil Hatton

    The report on the Chartered Institute of Housing is pretty damning about the quality of education being received by apprentices and the results of those who finally take EPAS do not override this. I can well remember in the early days of FEFC inspections seeing fantastic results for a sixth form college only to find that the students succeeded in spite of the poor teaching that they received [private tutors at home and selection resulting in very bright student intake]. It woke that sector up as inspectors were not satisfied in high overall achievement rates but whether teaching resulted in the value added to what they were capable of achieving. This Ofsted report is full of many negatives of the experience of apprentices and is not just inadequate because of how many have dropped out from the programme. Providers, with the right guidance, have turned provision around in the past and that is what needs to be focused on here rather than expend energy that is not going to benefit the experience of the apprentices still there.