Richard Branson’s Virgin Care training arm takes off with top Ofsted marks

Inspectors lauded apprentices for 'outstanding resilience' during the pandemic

Inspectors lauded apprentices for 'outstanding resilience' during the pandemic

10 Nov 2021, 12:22

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The training arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Care group has landed Ofsted’s highest grade in its first inspection.

Inspectors lauded The Learning Enterprise’s (TLE) 140 apprentices for demonstrating “outstanding resilience” to work and study while the pandemic continues to place additional pressures on the health and social care sector.

They were particularly impressed with how leaders and managers “embedded equality, diversity, inclusion and safeguarding into the curriculum extremely effectively,” allowing apprentices to apply “their learning to ensure service users are treated with integrity and dignity”.

TLE is the learning and development arm of health and care specialist Virgin Care – part of the Virgin group founded by billionaire businessman Richard Branson.

It began delivering apprenticeships in 2017. Learners work towards healthcare and management apprenticeship standards from level 2 to level 5.

‘The exceptional expertise of our team is what makes us unique’

Sarah Van Der Merwe, head of apprenticeships at TLE, said her providers is “thrilled” with scoring ‘outstanding’ judgements across the board.

“The exceptional expertise of our team is what makes us unique as a learning and development provider; our assessors are trained to the highest levels to support efficient and effective delivery of our programmes,” she added. “It is of the upmost importance to us that we are providing participants with valuable training, and our assessors work hard to plan programmes to support maximum outcomes.”

Inspectors visited TLE in early October and published their report yesterday.

They commended an approach which helps learners to “develop increased resilience, confidence and self-esteem”.

Ofsted noted that “apprentices take on extra responsibility at work and actively seek opportunities to progress in their learning and careers”. They also commented on how assessors planned coordinated on-and off-the-job training “exceptionally well, enabling apprentices to swiftly apply their learning in the workplace”.

They went on to highlight that “employers highly value the contribution apprentices make to their businesses”.

TLE joins 42 other independent training providers that are currently rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

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