London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy

Dynamic and innovative vocational training organisation London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy (@thelhaa) are pleased to share the hard work of staff following an interim Ofsted (@Ofstednews) visit.

As an independent professional Hairdressing Apprenticeship trainer provider, they are exceptionally proud after an interim Ofsted visit in October where they were able to showcase their response to Covid-19 and lockdown to Her Majesty’s Inspectors.

The provider was excited to share the support they provided  throughout the pandemic, particularly for their response to the increased demand for online learning, developing ‘a flexible approach’ followed by a ‘safe return to face-to-face learning.’ 

Feedback also included that employers say that the development of learners’ practical skills has been the greatest challenge and that they feel that remote online learning has worked well for theoretical topics and they have worked with LHAA staff to prioritise learners coming to their final assessments.

LHAA offers apprenticeships and adult learning courses in hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy covering six academies located in London and was acquired in March 2020 by National Training Provider Learning Curve Group (LCG).

As one of the biggest training providers in England, Learning Curve Group supports learners through a diverse range of programmes, including; apprenticeships, distance learning courses, study programmes, employability and community led training. They also have 12 academies across the North East, North West, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and London that focus on developing vocational skills in key sectors such as Hair and Beauty, Construction and Uniformed Services. 

As lockdown was announced in March, face-to-face teaching and learning ground to a halt. LHAA and LCG made the decision to quickly switch to online learning to allow both young people and adults to continue working towards their qualifications. 

Brenda McLeish, Chief Executive Officer at Learning Curve Group, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been given the chance to share with Ofsted the actions we took to ensure our learners remained at the centre of everything we do. We have strong core values at both LHAA and Learning Curve Group that keep the learner at the centre of everything we do, and throughout lockdown this value was key to supporting our learners and ensuring they still had the opportunity to succeed.

“There is no doubt that Coronavirus has had a huge impact on education and delivery, but it really is fantastic to see our staff pull together and support both the young people and adults who accessed our training throughout lockdown to ensure we could continue delivering. We had to quickly adapt to a completely new way of learning, and I couldn’t be more proud of all we have achieved throughout the pandemic, with record numbers choosing to study with us. 

“Our vision as a training provider has always been to transform lives through learning, and our role is important now more than ever as people across the country face such challenging times. Continuing to support people through Covid-19 and beyond is extremely important to us and giving people the ability to keep their minds active is what we do best which is why

we’ve recently launched our #LockdownLearning campaign with the hope of individuals accessing our fully-funded training while stuck indoors.

Ofsted suspended all routine inspections in March due to the pandemic, introducing interim visits for further education and skills providers in September 2020 to ‘help learners, parents, employers and government to understand how providers are meeting the needs of learners’ throughout the pandemic. 

During the pandemic LHAA and LCG saw a huge increase in demand for online training throughout the pandemic, with over 25,000 people expressing an interest to study online after the launch of their #EducateWhilstYouIsolate campaign. 

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