Ofsted workshops a great success

In response to demand from members, GMLPF recently held two Ofsted workshops. The first, Ofsted for Beginners was designed for learning providers who are Ofsted novices including:

  • those who are new on register of training providers, either new to the industry or former sub-contractors
  • subcontractors subject to inspection due to relationship with prime
  • staff in providers who are new or know little about Ofsted even though the provider has experience

The workshop was delivered by Jackie Shopland-Reed, Ofsted inspector and owner/director of Apprenticeship provider Lite Ltd. It focussed on types of inspection, what to expect from each, structure and components, how to prepare and other key areas.

The second workshop, Ofsted for Experienced Providers, was delivered by Ofsted inspector, Kath Townsley,  in association with QLS, and targeted those providers who had knowledge and previous experience of the Ofsted process. The workshop looked at

  • Recent changes to the Further Education & Skills Inspection Handbook
  • Key areas providers are tripping up on in inspection
  • Emerging themes

There was also the opportunity for delegates to get individual feedback on their SARs.

Both workshops were extremely well received with all delegates rating them as very good or excellent. The knowledge and training ability of both trainers was rated as excellent.

Offering two workshops for different categories of provider is reflective of GMLPF’s current drive to tailor our member services to meet individual organisations’ needs.

Ofsted Workshops

Following demand from members, GMLPF has arranged two workshops focussing on preparing for Ofsted inspections:

Ofsted for Beginners 15th May

On 15th May we are holding a workshop designed for providers who are Ofsted novices including:

– those who are new on register of training providers, either new to the industry or former sub-contractors 
– subcontractors subject to inspection due to relationship with prime
– staff in providers who are new or know little about Ofsted even though the provider has experience

The workshop will focus on types of inspection, what to expect, structure and components, how to prepare and other key areas.

Lunch will be provided

Book Now: Ofsted for Beginners


Ofsted for Experienced Providers 10th May

This workshop has been designed for providers, who already have an understanding/experience of the Ofsted process. The workshop will cover:

– 4 key aspects of the inspection framework
– Safeguarding & The Prevent Duty
– Data requirements
– Key sources of evidence
– Overview of changes in the most recent update (April 2018) to the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook

Delegates will be invited to bring their SAR to the workshop for review & feedback.

Prior to the workshop, delegates will be asked to identify areas of particular concern and submit questions. This will enable us to tailor the workshop to deliver exactly what delegates need.

Workshop is delivered by a current Ofsted inspector with much experience.

Lunch will be provided

Book Now: Ofsted for Experienced Providers


Non-Levy Apprenticeships Procurement – GMLPF Member Workshop 15/8/17

GMLPF is holding a workshop next week to help its members complete the new tender recently released by the ESFA for delivery of Apprenticeships to non-levy paying employers.

The ESFA’s procurement exercise follows on from a previous one which was cancelled. ESFA point to several critical differences in the new procurement:

  • new tender value caps and contract award limits to ensure greater confidence that awards are set at realistic levels
  • awards in line with current levels of geographical delivery in the 9 English regions
  • improved scoring criteria and evaluation methodology
  • the ability to grow above award values in year, subject to a number of conditions

The deadline for submission is 4th September 2017. ESFA expect this to be a “highly competitive exercise which will attract interest from a wide range of training providers”.

The GMLPF workshop is to be held on at 9.30am on Tuesday 15th August at Croxteth Hall and will be facilitated by Paul Blott of Eunoia Associates, recognised expert in Government procurement processes, and national learning and skills policy. The session includes:

  • A comprehensive overview of the tendering process
  • The importance of the scoring methodology
  • Consideration of key questions: What are ESFA looking for? What is your evidence base?
  • Bidding best practice – hints and tips

Paul will be available after the session to answer individual questions.

Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to maximise your chances of success in this critical procurement exercise.

Book online now – places limited

This event is charged at £50 for GMLPF members and £100 for non-members. 

The Next Step

By joining GMLPF you will benefit from free publicity. We’re always on the look-out for interesting stories about learning and skills to include under the GMLPF banner in magazines, newspapers and on our website.

Knowsley Challenge

In August, we sponsored a double page spread in the Knowsley Challenge paper, entitled ‘The Next Step’, outlining options at 16. Case studies and news were included from a range of GMLPF members including tpm, Mode Training, Fit UK, Myerscough College, St Helens College and Progress Sports.

Educate magazine

The September edition of Educate magazine also saw us putting the spotlight on the activity of members through Mapped Out, and North Liverpool Community College had a dedicated news story about the success of a wellbeing programme ‘You Only Live Once’.

Having your stories in print not only gives you valuable media exposure but also gives your students and staff a boost. So once you’ve joined up make sure to get in touch with our PR team via pavlina@gmlpf.net

Debunking myths for members

When we learn from members that something is a persistent problem we always strive to help.

Among the general public it seems there has been confusion over Raising the Participation Age – the Government’s drive to ensure all young people stay in education or learning until the age of 18. Many members were reporting to us that some parents and pupils think staying on at school after GCSEs is the only option.

As ‘GCSE results day’ approached in August, our members were concerned that young people who didn’t get the grades they needed to do A-levels might not realise they had the option of Apprenticeships or Traineeships.

To address this we designed and placed a full page advert in The Liverpool Echo that stressed the variety of options open to 16 to 18 year olds. The advertorial showcased the message that training programmes like Apprenticeships and Traineeships are a legitimate alternative to staying on at school.

We’ve had good feedback from members who confirm that the advertising has helped to generate an increase in understanding and enquiries.

Find out more about GMLPF membership by contacting our membership manager Joanne@gmlpf.net

Social media support for GMLPF members

GMLPF works hard to promote and raise awareness of its members, their courses and services. One of the main ways we do this is through our online directory of training, Mapped Out which all our members are listed on. As part of our drive to raise awareness of Mapped Out amongst school leavers, other young people, parents and schools, we are planning to put together a schedule of material designed for sharing for social media. By producing interesting, factual articles that are shareable on social media and branded up as Mapped Out, we can collectively increase our online “fame”, and generate enquiries for member courses.

Financial Facts success

A recent example of this was the article we posted on GMLPF social media channels during June 2015: ‘FINANCIAL FACTS – Ten things you need to know before your child leaves school this summer’. Several GMLPF members shared this post on their own channels. At the time of writing, the posts have reached nearly 5,000 people; with more than 250 viewers clicking through to read it in full and be presented to a link to Mapped Out.

We’d like to pen more articles like this for our members to post and share which will ultimately raise further awareness of Mapped Out.


We’re keen to hear our members’ ideas for future features and articles for you to use on your own social media. We’ll research and write up the best suggestions and put them out on social media for you to share and benefit from. To help with ideas, here’s five examples of what makes good content on social media:

  • Something that is timely or hooks into the current news agenda
  • A list of interesting facts – giving succinct, accurate and free advice
  • Including a celebrity angle – an article last year about famous people who started out as apprentices went viral
  • A feature headed ‘We Asked Ten Apprentices & this is what they said’
    …. can you suggest what the question should be?
  • “How-to” guides aimed at businesses or young people. Do you have a good suggestion as to what would be useful for you and other members? eg How to succeed at your apprenticeship interview

Email your ideas to pavlina@gmlpf.net


GMLPF members feature in Wirral schools mag

GMLPF sponsors a regular section in Good2Go, an education, careers and training magazine that is distributed to young people through schools across the Wirral. The GMLPF-sponsored section focusses on vocational options at 16 including Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Platform for GMLPF members

This sponsorship not only raises the profile of alternative options to staying on at school 6th form, it also provides a platform for exposure of GMLPF members’ courses amongst its primary target market – school leavers. GMLPF has been running this sponsorship for 2 years, with many members having been featured in the magazine in features and magazines. Members report that the sponsorship has resulted in more awareness of their courses, and has generated good leads for them.

Members featured

Good2Go is printed and distributed to schools three times a year. The most recent edition has just been printed and the GMLPF section features articles on members Mode, Riverside Learning and Education Centre, tpm and The Vocational College, as well as an interview with GMLPF CEO, James Glendenning.

This is just one of the activities GMLPF runs to support its members by raising the profile of their provision and services. Any GMLPF member who would like to be featured in the next edition of the magazine should contact pavlina@gmlpf.net

GMLPF sponsored section in Good2Go June 2015

Radicalisation workshops for GMLPF members

In response to our members’ requests for support in building the knowledge and skills they need in the critical and ever changing safeguarding arena, GMLPF is providing workshops addressing the prevention of radicalisation in learners. The workshops, which are for GMLPF members only, focus on raising awareness of the Government’s Prevent Strategy, published in 2011 as part of an overall counter terrorism strategy.

The Prevent Strategy has 3 specific objectives:

• Respond to ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face by those who promote it
• Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
• Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation

GMLPF has commissioned Nigel Lund to deliver the workshops. Nigel is the Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ North West Regional Coordinator for FE/HE.

The workshop focusses on the safeguarding individuals who may be susceptible to extremist messaging and preventing them from moving towards extremism and terrorism, and covers the following:

• Freedom of speech issues
• What makes someone susceptible/vulnerable to this messaging
• Behaviours of concern that individuals might display
• Rationale for early identification, support and if necessary, intervention
• Provision of support, advice and guidance to the individual

For further information about this GMLPF membership benefit, or to find out how to become a member, please contact Joanne Rymer on 0151 707 8775 or email joanne@gmlpf.net

GMLPF commissions summer radio campaign to support members

As part of its ongoing programme of support for its members, GMLPF have commissioned a summer advertising radio campaign on Juice FM. The campaign, which runs from the end of June, targets school leavers and other young people, encouraging them to make use of GMLPF’s online training directory, Mapped Out.

Training options

Mapped Out lists all GMLPF’s members, providing a live, searchable database of the training courses they offer. It is designed to help young people explore the training options available to them when they leave school, or if they drop out of college. These include Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Study Programmes and NVQs, searchable by industry sector. The directory provides useful information such as the location of training providers and colleges who provide the courses, transport routes, and details of additional support available including financial support.

Raising awareness of GMLPF members

The aim of the radio campaign is to raise awareness of the full range of options available to young people aged 16 to 18. In addition, the campaign supports GMLPF members by generating interest in their courses.

The radio campaign begins in the last week of June and runs until September with 3 adverts featuring Jon Briggs, the voice of iphone’s Siri. GMLPF members are encouraged to ensure that the information they have uploaded to the GMLPF Mapped Out directory is current in time for the start of the campaign at the end of June.

Exclusive member benefit

Inclusion in the Mapped Out online directory of training for 16 to 18 year olds is exclusively for GMLPF members, one of the numerous benefits of membership. To find out more about becoming a member please contact Jo Rymer, Membership Manager on 0151 707 8775 or email joanne@gmlpf.net

For more information on the Mapped Out directory or the Juice FM radio campaign contact pavlina@gmlpf.net