Provider to over 500 learners shuts centres after ‘inadequate’ Ofsted

Aspire-Igen Group revamps provision after grade 4 inspection result

Aspire-Igen Group revamps provision after grade 4 inspection result

21 Mar 2023, 15:51

More from this author

A training provider in the north of England has been forced to close some of its centres as a result of an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report published today.

Aspire-Igen Group Ltd, which to date has run six training centres across Bradford, Leeds, York, Hull and Scarborough, told FE Week that it had closed “some” of its centres and transferred provision to others where “the achievement of learners’ aims can be better supported”.

It is not clear at this stage which centres have shut their doors and whether any staff jobs have been lost.

Ofsted downgraded the provider to the bottom rating following a visit in December and a report published today, reporting issues such as poor attendance, behaviour and teaching. It had previously been rated ‘requires improvement’ in February last year.

The provider said nearly half of its learners had no prior qualifications and multiple barriers to learning, explaining that “it should come as a surprise to no one that some have struggled to re-engage with formal, face-to-face education”.

Aspire-Igen Group confirmed that it had “also struggled to recruit suitably qualified teaching staff of the past year, and have, at times, been forced to rely on temporary staff from employment agencies to maintain face-to-face lessons”.

A spokesperson said leaders had requested an internal review of the report.

“All that said, although we do not agree with some of Ofsted’s comments, we have taken them on board and reshaped our provision, closing some of our centres and transferring provision to one of our other centres where the achievement of learners’ aims can be better supported,” the spokesperson said.

“In future, we aim to focus our delivery in West Yorkshire around our well-equipped Bradford centres, alongside smaller centres in North and East Yorkshire.”

According to inspectors, Aspire-Igen provides education for young people – many of whom have no prior qualifications or who have high needs, with 575 learners on its books at the time of the visit.

Just under half of those were on health and social care and child development programmes, largely at levels 2 and 3.

Others are on entry level, level 1 and level 2 programmes in areas such as construction, motor vehicle, public services, business administration, hair and beauty, learning support, IT, and hospitality and catering.

Inspectors found that “too many learners do not attend their classes frequently enough,” which resulted in gaps in learning or were “not well-enough prepared” for employment or further training or education.

Inspectors reported poor behaviours and attitudes with disruption in lessons.

The report said that learners on health and social care and child development courses benefitted from work placements and useful careers guidance but too many learners in other programmes did not get the same.

Leaders were “too slow to act” on poor teaching, the report said, adding that efforts to improvement quality are “not effective enough”.

Elsewhere, assessments were not used by teachers to identify gaps in students’ knowledge, which resulted in learners not having a good enough understanding of how to improve or falling behind.

The report continued that “teachers do not adequately support learners to improve their English skills,” and added that “while most learners with high needs make progress towards their individual learning goals, too often this is not rapid enough”.

Ofsted said that workshop space at the firm’s Leeds site was not suitable for the construction programmes, as bays were too cramped, and some online teaching resources on the childcare courses were not appropriate for the age of the learners.

It added that while directors had supported leaders’ work to improve attendance, they “do not do enough to tackle the poor quality of education”.

Latest education roles from

A Level Biology Teacher

A Level Biology Teacher

Barnsley College

Electrical Installation Trainer

Electrical Installation Trainer

Barnsley College

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Merton College

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

South Thames College

Lecturer – Business (x 1 Banking Specialism & x 1 Accounting/Business Finance Specialism)

Lecturer – Business (x 1 Banking Specialism & x 1 Accounting/Business Finance Specialism)

Kingston College

Apprentice Development Leader

Apprentice Development Leader

GP Strategies

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

A new chapter in education protection!

Gallagher is a specialist in the Further Education sector, working with over 75% of Further Education colleges in the...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Pearson is planting the seed for sustainability talent with new HTQ

Sustainability is rapidly becoming a key organisational goal for many businesses looking to make a difference in society, the...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Colleges, Ofsted

Second ‘outstanding’ for Cheshire college

Inspectors said teachers and leaders were “passionate” about providing life-changing opportunities for young people and adults

Josh Mellor
Ofsted, SEND

Specialist arts college strikes the right chord with Ofsted ‘outstanding’

Inspectors said the college empowers young adults with special needs to progress into the world of work

Josh Mellor
Ofsted

Big Listen: Ofsted must enforce ‘humane accountability’, say leaders

The way Ofsted delivers its judgements remains a key concern for the sector

Josh Mellor
Apprenticeships, Ofsted

‘Outstanding’ for Dyson’s axed degree apprenticeships

Dyson says it would prefer to pay £250,000 per student to avoid the "burden" of degree apprenticeship paperwork

Josh Mellor

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Comments

  1. Another example of how, in effect, Ofsted has become the regulator of which training providers are able to stay in the market or not. Is this really what we want? While it’s vital to maintain quality standards, a more developmental approach could be used, where struggling TPs are supported to improve, not just forced out of business. And there’s got to be a particular concern when this happens to providers who are trying to engage with the most disadvantaged and marginalised learners. We risk reducing opportunities, not improving them, leaving desperately needy learners stranded.

    • Jo Stoddart

      Totally agree on all points made here Andy Forbes. The inspection process is so flawed. I’ve been in the unfortunate position this provider is now in and it was the most horrendous experience I have ever been through in my life and continues to haunt me 9 years on! No help or support with improvement and vulnerable learners abandoned.

  2. Unknown

    I am a student at that college we have one assignment left and it’s been closed we already have uni places and this is wrong that they have closed it and not give us a grade and are destroying our future thanks ofsted you disgrace