ian lomas speaks to members at agm


GMLPF held its 14th Annual General Meeting last week at The Hallmark Hotel on Sefton Park, attended by 60 guests from regional learning providers, and featured three key speakers: Mike Firth (ESFA), Bev Barlow (Ofsted) and Julie Byrne (LCR Combined Authority)

Mike Firth ESFA

After a brief overview of the annual report for 2016/17 by CEO Ian Lomas and chair Debbie Tagoe, the morning’s programme commenced with an update from Mike Firth, Head of Intervention, ESFA. His presentation focussed on several key areas including an outline of changes within the ESFA, namely the new territorial teams who are responsible for overseeing the FE provider base from October 2018. They will be responsible for assessing risk, managing key budget performance and supporting vulnerable providers. Mike spoke about the internal and external factors that can impact on providers’ financial success or failure.

Mike’s presentation also featured an overview of T-levels and its positioning in relation to Apprenticeships and other post 16 choices, which produced lively discussions amongst members. In response to a request by Ian Lomas prior to the event, Mike dedicated the final part of his session to gaps in provision and market entry.

Download Mike’s slides

Bev Barlow Ofsted

Bev Barlow, Senior HMI, Ofsted, provided an update for members featuring a review of inspection outcomes for Liverpool City Region FE providers. Key issues identified through inspection for LCR providers include off the job training (Apprenticeships), development of new skills and knowledge (Apprenticeships), English and Maths (Study Programmes), levels of challenge (Study Programmes), work experience (Study Programmes) and progression and destinations (Study Programmes). Other issues are listed on Bev’s slides.

Bev also gave an update on the process for inspecting Apprenticeships and new providers, and overviews on future policy and the Education Inspection Framework 2019.

Download Bev’s slides

Julie Byrne LCR Combined Authority

Julie Byrne, the final speaker at the GMLPF AGM, gave guests a useful breakdown of the priorities laid out in the LCR Apprenticeship Growth Plan. Her presentation also provided Apprenticeship start statistics for the region, and considered the challenges facing employers and how the LCR Hub/Combined Authority are addressing these.

Download Julie’s slides

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


Ofsted Grade 2 for Morthyng

Rotherham based charitable vocational training provider, and GMLPF member, Morthyng Group has been awarded Grade 2- GOOD by Ofsted, based on their inspection from 13th to 17th October 2014. Notably, they received an OUTSTANDING for the safeguarding of young people in learning. This is Morthyng’s second OUTSTANDING grade in successive Ofsted inspections, the last being in 2011.

Morthyng Group delivers Study Programmes in Rotherham. Doncaster, Corby and Merseyside.

Collaboration to raise standards of education and safeguarding

With the announcement of their Grade 2 result, Morthyng Group are taking the opportunity to  emphasise they are open and willing to collaborate with all organisations to help raise the general standards of education, and specifically the safeguarding of young people in all geographical areas.

People not profits

Chris MacCormac CEO of the group said

“This is a great result from a difficult and stringent inspection regime, and we are proud to buck the trend and bring good news to our home town of Rotherham and the wider communities we serve”.

“Our staff are experienced, qualified and committed to putting the learner at the centre of all we do, a company where people count, not profits.”

GMLPF CEO Stan Pochron announces retirement

Dear colleagues, partners and friends of GMLPF,

As some of you might have heard, I shall be retiring from GMLPF at the end of July.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have contributed and worked to consolidate GMLPF into a positive force for change, development and communication across Merseyside and the region.  It is a bittersweet time. I shall be sorry to leave this beloved post and the many friends and partners who have made my working a day a delight and a challenge for improving the future of learning.

Over the past 8 years,  I have been privileged to work on your behalf to strengthen GMLPF, collate your respective concerns and represent your interests and constructive thoughts to develop Apprenticeships, learning and respect for vocational learning.

Recent acknowledgements by the Government and local agencies, now recognise that the future of our country and region, lies in the hands of dedicated and skilled professionals, such as the members of GMLPF. I am happy to confirm our collective intention to continue to help drive our economy forward and more importantly, to continue supporting the up-skilling and qualification of our region’s young people into a talented and dynamic workforce. The recent 1st Annual Apprenticeship Awards ceremony was a real delight to sponsor – an opportunity to  celebrate  the thousands of successful,  hard working Merseyside Apprentices and their providers.

I am happy to leave GMLPF in good and capable hands,  with an experienced Board of Directors and committed staff. They were recognised as being well above  average  by the recent Ofsted Report,  confirming  GMLPF as “Very Good” and going on to being outstanding!  I will have many pleasant memories to take away with me, of activities, events, occasions and indeed meetings…that have helped  shape our unique,  positive  working relationships on Merseyside.  Long may it continue and prosper!

Thank you all … and I wish you the very best in your future endeavours