As you will know, in March, Education and Training Skills (ETS) was inspected by Ofsted. The report from the inspection contains some promising feedback and I am writing to share the main findings with you.

The report is well considered and thorough and noted that ‘ETS leaders have developed and invested in good resources for apprentices’ teaching, training and learning. These include very well-equipped off-the-job training classrooms at its Exeter and Truro offices. ETS leaders, managers and trainers are well qualified and have appropriate subject expertise. Trainers use their knowledge very well to support apprentices’ learning and development. Trainers are able to access an appropriate and useful range of programmes that develop their professional skills further.’

Ofsted also said that ‘All ETS staff have received thorough training and know what to do if they are alerted to a safeguarding issue. Apprentices are very well informed about safeguarding and know whom to contact if they have any concerns. Apprentices’ practical knowledge and understanding of the Prevent ‘duty’, British values, how to stay safe online and equality and diversity are very good.’

Overall, the Ofsted inspection team determined that we do ‘Require Improvement’, yet I believe that the tone of their detailed report is encouraging and the inspectors’ assessments and analyses are promising.

The inspection looked at several key areas of the Charities quality performance which includes; Effectiveness of leadership and management; Quality of teaching, learning and assessment; Personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for learners.

There were some very positive comments made throughout, and I would like to share a snapshot of some of these with you below:

  • Leaders and managers are implementing new arrangements for quality improvement, performance monitoring and management. Most of these are at early stages and their impact is so far modest. A highly evaluative self-assessment report (SAR) for the current year was made available during the inspection. This clearly and accurately identified key strengths and weaknesses of the provision. The SAR links seamlessly to a workable, realistic and priority-based quality improvement plan (QIP). The quality and clarity of the SAR and QIP are good.
  • Trustees have a diverse and relevant range of skills and interests in the education, care and vocational sectors. They use these well to inform their decisions and actions as trustees.
  • An ETS trustee has extensive senior-level experience in safeguarding. This trustee has worked closely with ETS staff to build a strong and practical framework for monitoring and promoting safeguarding practice. Leaders, managers and trainers pay very close attention to ensuring that the framework is effective. ETS operates an effective ‘safer recruitment’ policy. As a result, all staff have had appropriate and regularly updated checks on their backgrounds. Appropriately trained, designated safeguarding leads are in place.
  • Apprentices who get the time to attend, enjoy and value highly the off-the-job training sessions in ETS centres. Here, trainers offer well-planned programmes which develop apprentices’ knowledge and understanding. Trainers use a carefully structured approach to show apprentices how theory is applied in practice. Morning sessions are focused well on developing apprentices’ understanding of theory. Apprentices use afternoon sessions productively to research and reflect on how their learning applies in their workplaces.
  • Most apprentices are highly motivated and enjoy their work roles. They understand well how the apprenticeship programme will help them progress towards their long-term
  • The standard of apprentices’ work is high. Employers value their work and improvements in their effectiveness in the workplace. Almost all apprentices enter full-time employment on completing their apprenticeship.

I was pleased to read that the inspectors recognised that ETS is and have been recently putting into place new quality improvement, performance and monitoring models within the organisation, and that we are aware of the aspects of the provision that require improvement.  Everyone at ETS are intent on acting on the observations made during the inspection in order for us to achieve a ‘Good’ judgment from Ofsted. Although I know there is work still to do, I am encouraged by the positive tone of the report. 

I do recognise that we have to rise to the challenge of ensuring ‘every’ learner and employer gets the good quality service they deserve.  I would like to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of ETS, if indeed we, have at any stage in our dealings with you not met your expectations.

We are sincerely working hard to improve so that you always receive the best service possible and I would like to remind you of the support services we will continue to provide you with:

  • A Key Account Manager
  • A Training Facilitator
  • A Training Team Coordinator
  • Safeguarding 24/7 – 07756147275 

The Ofsted report will be available on our website from today and on the Ofsted website from around 29 March 2019.

I hope that you, like us will be reassured by the tone of this report and I would like to thank you for your ongoing help and support.

If you have, any constructive comments or suggestions you feel would assist us in our quest to further improve then please either:

  • Email your feedback to help@etsgroup.co.uk with the heading Ofsted Report or
  • call 01392 445444 and speak to our Quality Improvement and Performance Manager.

Once again thank you for your support and I look forward to ETS continuing to provide you with the best service we possibly can.

Yours sincerely

Richard Jenkins

CEO ETS