This week: 'Good' reports coming from Humberside
 
 
 
 
 
SouthBank Training, Scunthorpe
 
Summary of grades awarded:
Effectiveness of provision Good: Grade 2
Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2
Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2
Quality of provision Good: Grade 2
Leadership and management Good: Grade 2
Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3
Sector subject areas:
Preparation for life and work Satisfactory: Grade 3
Business, administration and law Good: Grade 2
 
Established in 1999, SouthBank Training Limited (SBT) is a private training company that has centres in Scunthorpe and Grimsby. Through contracts with Humberside LSC the company provides apprenticeships in business administration and retailing, as well as Entry to Employment (E2E) and Train to Gain programmes. There are currently 133 learners enrolled with SBT.
 
SBT received mostly good grades for their inspection. Achievement and standards were identified as a strength by the provider and Ofsted did report that success rates for apprentices were high: “In 2006/07 overall success rates for advanced apprentices were 70% and for apprenticeships 67%.” Progression rates for E2E learners had been improving over the last three years and were considered satisfactory. For individuals on Train to Gain courses they said, “learners gain good skills and confidence.”
 
The quality of provision was graded good overall and inspectors said that teaching for business administration was interesting and learners were well motivated. They felt that assessment was not varied enough in this area. Teaching and learning for E2E and Train to Gain programmes were satisfactory, but again the inspectors had some issues with insufficient target-setting. Ofsted were pleased with the “good strategies” used by SBT to reach younger learners stating: “Many of these learners have successfully returned to education or training.”
 
Ofsted identified strong leadership as one of SBT’s key strengths and suggested the managers had been able to improve achievement rates through effective strategies. The only key area for improvement they noted regarded some incomplete quality improvement arrangements.
 
 
Humberside Engineering Training Association Ltd, Hull
 
Summary of grades awarded:
Effectiveness of provision Good: Grade 2
Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2
Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2
Quality of provision Good: Grade 2
Leadership and management Good: Grade 2
Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3
Sector subject area:
Engineering and manufacturing technologies Good: Grade 2
 
Humberside Engineering Training Association Ltd (HETA), formed in 1967, provides training to engineering companies from centres in Hull and Stallingborough. The company currently provides work-based learning to 257 advanced apprentice on a programme that lasts for four years. Learners are employed by companies that work in fabrication, machining and electrical engineering, as well as some other sectors.
 
Ofsted reported that HETA was good in most of the areas inspected, including the effectiveness of provision. Regarding achievement and standards, the report said that learners, “develop particularly good vocational skills in the workplace,” and quite often, “acquire a wide range of additional qualifications.” Success rates were noted as being satisfactory, as they had declined since 2004/05, but were still above the national average.
 
Inspectors listed a number of key strengths, several of which related to the good quality of provision. They said that off-the-job training was well planned with good assessment, though it was suggested that workplace assessment could be improved. Learners had access to good engineering resources and received good support, helped by the “effective” involvement of employers.
 
Ofsted said that leadership and management at HETA was good and that, “long-term planning is a particular strength.” The provider made satisfactory use of data for monitoring purposes. Equality of opportunity was graded as satisfactory. The report noted that certain groups, particularly female learners, were under-represented despite the company’s efforts to promote engineering careers. Inspectors suggested this was an area for improvement.
 
 
Archway Academy Ltd, Birmingham
 
Summary of grades awarded:
Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3
Capacity to improve Satisfactory: Grade 3
Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3
Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3
Leadership and management Satisfactory: Grade 3
Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3
Sector subject area:
Entry to Employment (E2E) Satisfactory: Grade 3
 
Archway Academy Limited (Archway) is a private training company that has provided E2E programmes to learners in East Birmingham since 2004. At the time of inspection, there were 19 learners in a group that includes young offenders and learners with a range of social, behavioural and emotional needs. All the learners work to improve their basic literacy and numeracy skills and can also work towards qualifications in ICT, lift-truck driving and citizenship.
 
Ofsted felt that Archway was satisfactory in the effectiveness of provision and other areas inspected. Achievement and standards was satisfactory overall, while progression rates were reported as good having remained, “consistently high for the past three years.” The report said that in 2006/07 50% of learners had attained all of their goals. Inspectors thought that the standard of work produced was satisfactory. They identified poor attendance as an area for improvement.
 
Teaching and learning were graded satisfactory with Ofsted commenting on the, “good practical skills training,” that learners receive in well-equipped workshops. Literacy and numeracy were considered to be well-integrated in practical sessions, but separate sessions for these subjects were less effective. Support and guidance available to learners was described as good, though inspectors wanted to see better opportunities for work experience, which they said were currently insufficient.
 
Leadership and management received a satisfactory grade, though Ofsted noted that the provider’s ability to maintain achievement rates showed good strategic leadership. The links to others in the community was also felt to be a particularly good strength. It was suggested that better use of management information and self-assessment processes were the main areas for improvement.
 
 
Childcare Training Consultancy Ltd, Ilford
 
Summary of grades awarded:
Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3
Capacity to improve Satisfactory: Grade 3
Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3
Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3
Leadership and management Satisfactory: Grade 3
Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3
Sector subject area:
Health, public services and care Satisfactory: Grade 3
 
Childcare Training Consultancy Ltd (CTC) provides work-based training in the health and social care and childcare areas. The company has contracts with London East LSC to provide apprenticeships and Train to Gain programmes to a total of 577 learners. Off-the-job training takes place at CTC’s training centre, as well as community venues and employers' work-places.
 
Ofsted graded most areas of CTC’s inspection as satisfactory and said that, under a new owner, the company had better management and a satisfactory capacity to improve. Achievement and standards were satisfactory with the success rates of apprentices having improved over recent years. Apprentices produce work of a good standard and are able to progress on to further qualifications. Most Train to Gain learners were seen to be making satisfactory progress with some due to finish ahead of their planned completion date.
 
Teaching and learning, and the assessment of learners, was deemed satisfactory. Learning was said to be, “satisfactorily planned,” but at times did not use sufficiently different activities to account for different learners’ needs. Inspectors noted that a key strength of the provider was the flexible arrangements for training, which helped meet the need of learners and employers well.
 
Leadership and management also received a satisfactory grade. Ofsted suggested that particular strengths lay in CTC’s “strong emphasis” on communication, both between staff and with employers. Staff development was described as good, and Ofsted were also pleased with the high participation rate by people from minority ethnic groups. The main areas for improvement focused on making better use of data for quality improvement, and improving the safeguarding policy.
 
Paul Malbon

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