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University nursing apprenticeship rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted

The University of Suffolk nursing apprenticeship has been given a 'requires improvement' rating by Ofsted.  Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK

The University of Suffolk nursing apprenticeship has been given a 'requires improvement' rating by Ofsted. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK

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A nursing apprenticeship at the University of Suffolk has been rated as “requires improvement” by inspectors.

The University of Suffolk said: The University of Suffolk said: "Apprenticeships are an important and growing part of the education that we offer." Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK

Education regulator Ofsted assessed the level four and level five nursing associate and healthcare assistant practitioner higher apprenticeships between March 3 and 5 this year.

In a recently published report, it said that “apprentices value the learning opportunities provided by the university and its NHS trust partners” and that: “Apprentices develop good clinical skills.”

It also said that 128 level four and five apprentices get the chance to work in “many different hospital departments and community settings” in NHS trusts on Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge and Great Yarmouth, where they are set challenging goals by workplace mentors and “develop a broad understanding of the different aspects of nursing”.

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However, inspectors said that “not enough apprentices receive useful careers advice and guidance”, adding: “Many are not clear about their next steps in learning.

“They are often not aware of the breadth of opportunities available to them on completion of their apprenticeship.”

While the report said that “leaders and managers have developed a programme that provides a good route into nursing for healthcare staff”, it said: “However, they have not yet ensured that what apprentices learn on the ward links to the university’s taught element.

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“As a result, apprentices often struggle to match the theory that they learn at university to the work they do.”

It also said that “no apprentices completes their apprenticeship on time” and that: “Managers do not prepare them sufficiently to take their final assessment.

“Most reach the end of their programme before attempting their final assessment.”

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To improve, Ofsted said the university must ensure apprentices are prepared for their final assessments in a “timely manner” - and that: “Lecturers need to make sure that apprentices link theory closely to clinical practice.”

The report added: “Managers must make sure that apprentices with additional learning needs quickly receive help with their studies.”

A spokesman for the University of Suffolk said: “We welcome the feedback from the Ofsted report which we have embedded in our quality improvement plans going forward.

“Apprenticeships are an important and growing part of the education that we offer at the University of Suffolk.

“The experience of our apprentices and employers is therefore at the forefront of these plans for continuous improvement as we continue to support the workforce development of our regional employers and key sectors.

“We are pleased with the areas of good practice identified and look forward to the next stage of learning and improvement.”


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