London Skills Academy, London


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:

Employability training Satisfactory: Grade 3



Founded in 1995, the London Skills Academy (LSA), formerly Gateway Technology Centre, is a company with charitable status that provides Entry to Employment (E2E) programmes from a training centre in Shepherds Bush. The programme includes vocational development; literacy, numeracy and language development; personal and social development, and some ICT training. During the inspection there were 19 learners.

Ofsted graded all areas of LSA’s report as satisfactory, including the effectiveness of provision and achievement and standards. The report listed the good development of learners’ vocational skills in ICT as a key strength. The development of personal and social skills, and literacy, was good, but poor in numeracy. Although they were starting to rise, low progression rates were seen as an area for improvement.

The quality of provision was satisfactory overall with teaching in ICT described as good. Training in ICT was a strength because inspectors felt that it met the individual needs of learners well. They reported: “Tutors use their expert subject knowledge well and stimulate and challenge learners. They make good use of questioning and set additional tasks as appropriate.” Monitoring of learners’ progress was thought to be insufficient, partly because too little focus was given to literacy, numeracy and personal and social development. Inspectors also felt there could be better opportunities for work experience.

Leadership and management were satisfactory. Ofsted added that good promotion of a positive learning environment by all staff was a key strength. Quality improvement measures, equality of opportunity and safeguarding were all satisfactory. Accommodation and resources had improved since the previous inspection, staff were found to be well qualified and team working was good.



Community Systems (North London), Finchley



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 areas:

Employability Skills Satisfactory: Grade 3



Community Systems (North London) Ltd was established in 1993 as a training provider. The company has seven centres in London and two in Southampton and Portsmouth. In the past 12 months, Community Systems have been focusing on the development of Employability Skills Programmes (ESPs), which currently has 345 learners, and Train to Gain contracts, of which there are 58 directly-funded and 44 subcontracted learners.

The overall effectiveness of provision at Community Systems was found to be satisfactory. Achievement and standards also received a satisfactory grade, though the report stated that achievement rates on ESPs were good. Train to Gain learners were making satisfactory or better progress, and all learners were thought to be gaining increased levels of self-confidence and skills.

The quality of provision was satisfactory overall. Inspectors noted: “In the better lessons, trainers make good use of learners’ experience, and use a variety of activities to stimulate and engage learners.” However, they said that less effective sessions had inadequate planning for individual learning, and this could be improved. Progress reviews for ESPs were ineffective, but satisfactory for Train to Gain programmes. “Particularly effective” support was listed as a key strength.

Ofsted said that, “management of change at Community Systems has been effective, and strategic management is good.” They suggested effective partnerships and good targeting of disadvantaged learners were strengths for the company. Inspectors felt that the implementation of quality improvement systems could be better. Communication was good, while staff development and equality of opportunity were satisfactory.



London Strategic Health Authority, London



Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Inadequate: Grade 4

Capacity to improve Inadequate: Grade 4

Achievement and standards Inadequate: Grade 4

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Inadequate: Grade 4

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Inadequate: Grade 4

Sector subject areas:

Health and social care Inadequate: Grade 4

Administration Inadequate: Grade 4



London Strategic Health Authority (LSHA) is one of 10 strategic health authorities in England responsible for managing and setting the strategic direction of the NHS locally. LSHA provides apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships and a Train to Gain level 3 women-only pilot in Health, Public Services and Care, and Business, Administration and Law. Elements of this work-based learning are subcontracted to four providers across London: Barnet College, The Freemantle Trust, Santy Ltd and Quay Assessment. At the time of inspection, there were 14 apprentices and 91 learners on Train to Gain programmes.

Ofsted’s report for LSHA was fairly concise and graded most of the areas inspected as inadequate. Achievement and standards were found to be inadequate and this had not been identified in the self-assessment. Success rates for apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships were in need of improvement because they had been below national averages for the previous two years.

The quality of provision received a satisfactory grade. Provision for Train to Gain programmes earned positive comments from inspectors who said that arrangements, “[were] good in health and social care and business administration, with well run workshops and well planned training sessions.” They also felt that the needs of learners were well met and listed effective assessment as a key strength for Train to Gain provision. Support and guidance were deemed satisfactory overall.

Ofsted graded leadership and management as inadequate, though they acknowledged that LSHA had, “undergone a period of significant change,” in the past year. They suggested the provider should work on improving certain areas. These included management of the apprenticeship programmes, monitoring the quality of subcontracted provision, promoting equality, and managing information and data.



Springboard Hackney Trust, London



Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Inadequate: Grade 4

Capacity to improve Inadequate: Grade 4

Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Inadequate: Grade 4

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject areas:

Early years and playwork Satisfactory: Grade 3

ICT for users Satisfactory: Grade 3

Employability training Inadequate: Grade 4



Founded in 1982, Springboard Hackney Trust (Springboard) is an educational charity that offers training to disaffected and socially excluded young people and adults in Hackney and surrounding areas. Springboard currently has 39 early years and playwork apprentices, 41 ICT apprentices and 32 E2E learners. A further 87 learners attend ESOL programmes, but were not included in this inspection.

Ofsted gave Springboard a mixed report with overall effectiveness graded inadequate. Other areas, such as achievement and standards, were found to be satisfactory. The report suggested that success rates for apprentices have risen slightly over the last few years, but should remain a focus of improvement. It was noted that apprentices develop good skills (a key strength) and E2E learners make satisfactory progress.

Teaching and learning were satisfactory. Attendance and punctuality were seen as a problem for E2E and early years provision. Inspectors said, “Off-the-job training has improved in ICT and is now good.” The organisation of portfolios was good for early years, but not as effective for ICT learners. Assessment and progress reviews were satisfactory for apprenticeships, but poor in E2E. Key strengths for this area were good resources and good quality work placements.

Leadership and management were graded inadequate overall, though certain areas of this section gained better grades. Communication and teamwork were identified as good. Partnership working and equality of opportunity were both satisfactory. Ofsted thought that better use could be made of data to monitor performance, and the arrangements for quality assurance could be further improved.

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