Ofsted watch: Traineeships silver lining for provider stuck on grade three

Independent training provider Nottinghamshire Training Network found itself stuck at a grade three this week, with all its provision deemed to ‘require improvement’ except traineeships, which were rated ‘good’.

Problems with leadership and management were identified at the provider, such as leaders failing “to ensure that subcontractors meet the additional learning needs of all learners and apprentices” and managers collecting “inadequate information on the progression to employment, FE and training of adult learners”.

Tutors and assessors were also said to “place insufficient focus on the development of adult learners’ and apprentices’ English and mathematics skills”.

Ofsted said too many tutors at the ITP made “insufficient use of the results of assessment” to support the progress of learners, and were “insufficiently confident to reinforce effectively the dangers of radicalisation”.

Apprenticeship provision was criticised for low achievement rates and a lack of advice and guidance.

However, strengths identified included effective action “to increase the proportion of apprentices who achieve their apprenticeship framework”, and the successful introduction of traineeship programmes in the current academic year.

There was also some “good use of work placements and experience” by tutors “to help trainees develop useful employment-related skills”.

Nottinghamshire Training Network was given eight points to improve on, including ensuring “newly appointed leaders and managers take swift, decisive actions to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment” and “all subcontractors are held accountable for improving all learners’ and apprentices’ outcomes”.

Staff members were also advised to “promote British values to learners and apprentices and secure their understanding of the risks of radicalisation and its potential impact on their lives and work”.

This week also saw a positive result for Bridgwater and Taunton College, which had its residential provision rated ‘outstanding’ under the social care common inspection framework.

The accommodation is situated in four lodges at a site in the local village of Cannington and with host families in Bridgwater and Taunton. 

There are 39 students under 18 at the Cannington site and 19 young people, including overseas students, staying with hosts.

The experiences and progress of these young people were found to be ‘outstanding’, taking into account how well they were helped and protected and the effectiveness of their leaders and managers.

Ofsted said the college provided “highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good”, and contributed to “significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for young people”.

The grade one was based on “a culture of positivity” and “high aspirations” in an “open and inclusive environment”, with managers leading by example.

Safeguarding was said to be “robust and effective”, creating a feeling of “well-being and security” for residential students.

They were found to be “making excellent progress in vocational and personal skills”, giving them the “knowledge and confidence to succeed in their chosen vocation”.

Care for residential student was described as “highly individualised” and “exceptionally supportive” by the education watchdog, meaning they had “respect for others, leadership and team work” as well as being “very proud of their college”.

Areas for development included the suggestion to review “the arrangements for the oversight and monitoring of the host family provision in Taunton and Bridgwater”, particularly ensuring information and contact numbers were up to date.


GFE Colleges Inspected Published  Grade Previous grade
Bridgwater and Taunton College (social care inspection report) 09/05/2017 02/06/2017 1 1
Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published  Grade Previous grade
Nottinghamshire Training Network 09/05/2017 31/05/2017 3 3

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