Ofsted has just published its monitoring visit report of our apprenticeships provision...and I am extremely pleased with the findings.
We were found to be making 'reasonable progress' across all three criteria - ensuring we meet all the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision, ensuring apprentices benefit from high-quality training that leads to positive outcomes and ensuring effective safeguarding arrangements are in place.
The report highlights include:
- we are 'committed' to ensuring apprentices benefit from well-planned and well-organised training programmes
- programmes meet individual and business needs well and we recruit apprentices 'with integrity'
- our tutors have the expertise to provide apprentices with high-quality training that delivers the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected in the workplace
- employers are 'very positive' about the quality of the training and support their apprentices receive
- apprenticeships meet the Institute for Apprenticeships requirements
The inspectors pointed out that the management team restructuring I undertook to accommodate growth and the delivery of apprenticeship standards has reaped positive results.
The report says: "Managers...are committed to ensuring that apprentices benefit from well-planned and well-organised training programmes.
"They ensure that programmes meet individual and business needs well and that they recruit apprentices with integrity.
"They ensure that tutors have the expertise to provide apprentices with high-quality training that delivers the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected in the workplace.
"Observations of teaching, learning and assessment result in suitable action planning that leads to improvements and relevant continuous professional development for trainers."
Importantly, the report found that our apprenticeships meet the Institute for Apprenticeships requirements and that 'early indications suggest apprentices are making at least their expected progress'.
It was also great to know that the inspectors found that employers 'are very positive about the quality of the training and support that their apprentices receive', are involved in planning learning and 'receive good information about the progress of their apprentices'.
As far as ensuring apprentices benefit from high-quality training that leads to positive outcomes, the report emphasised apprentices' access to 'a wide range of off-the-job learning', including significant workplace training, work shadowing, e-learning, classroom teaching and one-to-one sessions with trainers.
"This supports them to develop quickly new skills and knowledge that enable them to become valued members of their teams.
"Apprentices receive effective information and advice at the start of their programme and have a clear understanding of its requirements and career options.
"Managers plan apprenticeships carefully, so that they meet employers’ and apprentices’ needs well.
"In the rare instances when apprentices fall behind, assessors are quick to act and support apprentices to get back on track.
"As a result, almost all apprentices are making the progress required to achieve on time.
"Apprentices receive frequent and detailed feedback. This enables them to develop their professional skills and behaviours quickly," says the report.
Inspectors also found that we have appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures in place and follow safe recruiting practices.
The report highlights that all staff complete frequent training to refresh their understanding of safeguarding, the ‘Prevent’ duty, British values, and equality and diversity.
"As a result, apprentices have an adequate awareness of these issues and the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism.
"Trainers reinforce apprentices’ understanding of safeguarding issues throughout the apprenticeship programme.
"Apprentices feel safe and have a good understanding of what to do if they have concerns and they know how to stay safe online." adds the report.
The only point in the whole report that can be considered to be a negative was that we were not always taking full consideration of apprentices’ prior qualifications and experience fully when planning learning. This is something we are now addressing.
- From October 2018, Ofsted started monitoring visits to all newly directly funded providers of apprenticeship training provision which began to be funded from April 2017, or after, by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and/or the apprenticeship levy. Riverside Training was awarded a direct contract from ESFA in May 2017 for apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3, so our monitoring visit on 22 and 23 May was undertaken as part of these arrangements. At the time of the inspection we had 16 levy-funded apprentices, all female studying on frameworks. The large majority were studying at level 3, supporting teaching and learning in schools, and the remainder on children and young people’s workforce at levels 2 and 3.
OFSTED REPORT: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50094465