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There remain some issues with apprenticeship reforms, but Paul believes things are getting better, and beginning to bed down. 


"We're still seeing a very mixed picture on inspection," says Paul "We are unfortunately seeing too many apprenticeship providers that do still need to improve, but pleasingly we have also found some apprenticeship provision to be outstanding this year.

"So, a mixed picture, but never the less, an area that needs to improve. Our inspectors are still looking to ensure providers are delivering a quality apprenticeship."

What Ofsted are looking for

Providers are delivering a quality apprenticeship if they:

  1. Think about the curriculum they are offering
  2. Deliver a good training programme
  3. Enable apprentices to develop new:
  • Knowledge,
  • Skills
  • Behaviours

Off the job training

 "I want to be absolutely clear," Paul continues, “from an inspection perspective, the 20% rule is NOT an Ofsted requirement, it is a funding requirement. As far as Ofsted inspectors are concerned, we are looking at quality and not quantity. So, we're not particularly worried about the 20% rule. We will be looking to see what the quality of the apprenticeship is."

"The only time an Ofsted inspector will worry about 20% is if they discover apprentices aren't making good progress, or aren't developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours they require. They'll then start to look at how much off the job training they are getting, and if that is a problem, and isn't complying with the 20% rule, they are likely to say so."

Primarily the evidence that inspectors will expect and look for are the levels of knowledge, skills and behaviours developed by apprentices.

Ofsted will also look for:

  • Examples of work
  • Training records
  • Training plans

They will NOT be auditing registers and documents or tracking how many hours and minutes apprentices spend on off the job training. 

Click the link below to hear Ofsted's Deputy Director of Further Education and Skills, Paul Joyce's views on off the job training at the AELP's 2018 Summer Conference.

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