Adult training company ranked ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted
- Credit: PA
A Suffolk training provider for young people working in the childcare sector says it is to appeal after being branded ‘Inadequate’ following an Ofsted inspection.
People and Business Development Ltd (PBD) in Haverhill is an independent learning provider offering apprenticeships and adult learning programmes for students in the early years education sector.
But an inspection in January this year found the quality of education, leadership and management, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships were all rated as inadequate, while behaviour and attitudes and personal development were found to require improvement.
A company spokesman said: "It has come as a shock to us all and we are obviously devastated by the result. The feedback we get from our learners and managers over the last 12 years has always been positive and is reflected in our official DfE employer and learner satisfaction rates from last academic year which both stand at 86%.
"However, we feel unable to comment further as we are in the process of raising a complaint with Ofsted as we do not feel the report accurately represents our delivery or the experience of our learners and employers."
The report said students studied at work and home online but gained little: "Too few complete their training on time. Assessors do not recognise apprentices' existing knowledge and skills when planning learning.
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"Adult learners do not experience good-quality training. They are not able to access their online learning in time to apply it in their job roles. Assessors do not enable learners to reflect meaningfully on their workplace practice. Too many adults leave before completing their learning programmes."
The report also said leaders' strategy to improve the English and mathematics skills of apprentices was weak.
In its last two inspections, in 2018 and 2016, the company, of Homefield Road West, had been told it required improvement, having previously been assessed in 2013 as 'Good'.
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But the report found that since the last inspection PBD had failed to act quickly to improve the quality of education.
"Assessors do not provide additional study guidance or support to those apprentices who require extra help to complete their learning," it said.
"External advice and challenge have had little measurable impact on improving the experience of apprentices and adult learners."
The majority of PBD students are aged 19 and over and at the time of the inspection PBD had 300 apprentices and 90 adults on its books.
It recruits apprentices and adult learners in Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Kent and London but most learners are based in the east of England.
The report said a number of measures were needed by PBD to improve.
They included leaders needing to ensure apprentices completed their courses within the planned time period, reducing the number of adult learners leaving their programme early, and assessors receiving better training.