Baldwin Training Limited, Eastbourne

Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Good: Grade 2

Capacity to improve Outstanding: Grade 1

Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2

Quality of provision Good: Grade 2

Leadership and management Outstanding: Grade 1

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Good: Grade 2

Sector subject areas:

Health and social care Good: Grade 2


Established in September 2003, Baldwin Training Ltd (BTL) works with over 100 organisations in Sussex and parts of Kent to provide training in health and social care. There are currently 211 learners on government-funded programmes and 54 learners on private training courses. BTL offer apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships, NVQs and Train to Gain programmes.

The effectiveness of provision at BTL was found to be good. Ofsted felt the, “effectiveness of steps taken,” showed the provider had an outstanding capacity to improve. Achievement and standards received a good grade with good overall success rates for Train to Gain, NVQs and apprenticeships in 2007/08. Success rates for advanced apprenticeships in 2007/08 were satisfactory. Timely success rates for all programmes, whilst improving, were listed as an area for improvement.

The quality of provision was good, and inspectors said that, “very good individual training [that] meets learners’ needs,” was a key strength. They thought that initial assessment was comprehensive, but individual learning plans did not always fully record changes to learners’ programmes. Areas for improvement were noted regarding learners’ access to resources and computer facilities. Inspectors suggested that co-ordination of on- and off-the-job training could also be better. Guidance and support for learners was good.

Overall, leadership and management were judged to be outstanding. Only quality improvement was thought to need improvement. Otherwise, Ofsted listed a number of key strengths, including excellent communications and teamwork, very effective partnerships with employers and a “strong culture” of equality of opportunity. BTL were also praised for their very effective use of data and the excellent use of the self-assessment process, which Ofsted said was, “continuous and an integral part of quality improvement.”


Buzz Learning Limited, Ashington


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:

Preparation for life and work Satisfactory: Grade 3

Buzz Learning Limited is a training company, based at two sites in Wansbeck, Northumberland, that provides Entry to Employment (E2E) programmes. At the time of inspection, there were 21 learners undertaking programmes consisting of personal and life skills, vocational training and literacy and numeracy. Learners also take part in work placements during their programme.

Ofsted found the effectiveness of provision at Buzz Learning to be satisfactory. They graded achievement and standards as satisfactory and reported that, “learners develop good vocational and personal skills… make good progress in their work placements… [and] quickly develop a range of valuable work-related skills.” Achievement of key objectives by learners was identified as an area for improvement because, “only 28% of leavers during 2007/08 achieved all the agreed objectives in their individual learning plan.”

Teaching and learning were judged to be satisfactory. Inspectors thought that sessions were planned and managed adequately, and that tutors provided an appropriate range of learning activities. They agreed with the self-assessment that the wide range of work placements was a strength for the company. Target-setting, support and guidance were all considered satisfactory.

Leadership and management were graded as satisfactory. Ofsted said that staff were very responsive and were able to resolve issues quickly. This was a key strength. The report suggested that provision in skills for life was insufficient and could be improved. Incomplete quality improvement processes were also an area for improvement. Communication, accommodation and equality of opportunity were satisfactory, while staff training was praised for being, “well matched to individual needs.” 

LITS Ltd, Petts Wood, Kent


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:

Engineering and manufacturing technologies Satisfactory: Grade 3

L.I.T.S. Limited (LITS) is a company, founded in 1981, that provides support and assessment services to national engineering companies. They offer advanced apprenticeships and Train to Gain programmes in engineering and manufacturing. LITS currently work with more than 100 employers throughout the UK, and at the time of inspection had 148 advanced apprentices and 226 Train to Gain learners.

The report for LITS stated that the effectiveness of provision was satisfactory. Achievement and standards were satisfactory with overall success rates for advanced apprenticeships, “broadly in line with the national averages.” Ofsted noted there was a, “good achievement of a wide range of additional qualifications,” which they considered a key strength. Standards of work were described as good.

The quality of provision was deemed satisfactory. Inspectors said: “Learners are particularly well supported by their employers, a strength identified in the self-assessment report.” However, they felt that workplace assessment by direct observation and assessment by expert witnesses were insufficient and therefore areas for improvement. Progress reviews and target-setting were satisfactory. The range of provision was good and, “fully meets the needs of learners and employers.”

Ofsted gave leadership and management a satisfactory grade. They thought that the implementation of some quality assurance processes had been slow and that better use could be made of management information to achieve further improvements. Key strengths of the provider were “particularly effective” training advisors and “very effective” partnerships with employers.


Futures Training (Wareham), Wareham


Summary of grades awarded:

Effectiveness of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Capacity to improve Good: Grade 2

Achievement and standards Satisfactory: Grade 3

Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

Leadership and management Good: Grade 2

Equality of opportunity Contributory grade: Satisfactory: Grade 3

Sector subject areas:

Literacy and numeracy Satisfactory: Grade 3

Formed in 1991, Futures Training Centres Ltd (Futures) is a corporate training provider that has offered learndirect programmes since 2001. The company are based in Brighton, but have learning centres in Sussex, Northamptonshire and Dorset. In 2007/08, 1981 learners were undertaking courses with Futures, mostly skills for life courses. Some learners working in local care homes are following an NVQ in care.

Futures received a mixture of good and satisfactory grades in their inspection report. The effectiveness of provision was satisfactory while the capacity to improve was judged to be good. Achievement and standards were graded satisfactory, though the report stated that overall success rates had “increased steadily”. Progression rates on literary courses were very high and retention rates had improved.

The quality of provision was satisfactory, but teaching and learning were described as good. Inspectors said: “Learners receive good quality individual coaching, particularly to develop their literacy skills,” and they highlighted this as a key strength. Tutors were found to use questioning techniques well, and learners received, “detailed and useful feedback about their assignments and assessments.” The planning and reviewing of learners’ targets was felt to be an area for improvement.

Leadership and management were given a good grade. Ofsted listed good internal and external partnerships and “highly effective” measures to improve quality as some of Futures’ strengths. They suggested that the promotion of equality of opportunity to learners could be improved, though appropriate policies were found to be on display and equality of opportunity itself was graded satisfactory.

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