GMLPF attended Ofsted’s NW FES meeting last week
Apprenticeships seem very much to be the current focus of Ofsted’s inspection work. Inspectors are trying to catch up with the number of new providers who are still awaiting a New Provider Monitoring Visit (NPMV). Key messages/actions that emerged from the meeting are:
- Providers should complete and return the Provider Survey if they haven’t already done so. IMPORTANTLY, this allows providers to indicate when an inspection visit would not be welcome.
- The EIF framework and handbook is being reviewed and updated to reflect findings of 25-30 pilot inspections taking place across the country (including with two GMLPF members). Ofsted is keen to look at the impact of Covid on PDBW
- There are still approximately 100 new Apprenticeship providers expecting an NPMV (some 20 in the NW). Ofsted is prioritising this group over the coming months.
- Ofsted has lifted the “pause” on NHS Apprenticeship providers (Covid saw all inspections/visits to NHS providers halted). Providers in the health sector can now expect to be inspected/visited again.
- Over the last year, it is estimated that 138 Apprenticeship providers have ceased trading. In many cases, this is due to insufficient progress made in two primary areas: safeguarding and quality of education. An associated issue is the difficulties that learners (based with providers who have ceased training) face in transferring to other providers. The system is too slow and cumbersome. In other words, the lack of prompt support makes it harder to “rehome” learners.
- Risk Assessments: performance and QAR data are less critical in identifying which providers are chosen for inspection. Ofsted will look at the areas of provision and the length of time since last inspection when identifying which providers will be inspected.
- Inspection intervals: Covid and the lack of inspection activity over the last 12 -15 months has led to the modification of the inspection cycle as outlined in this table. Based on the table and discussions at the meeting, four groups of providers locally may be prioritised for inspection/visit once they resume:
- New providers
- Providers who have received an NPMV but not their first full inspection
- Providers graded good but who were anticipating a short inspection between March 2020 and July 2021
- Outstanding providers last inspected before September 2015