Strong outcome as inspectors commend quality of learning and pastoral care
LONDON, UK – 26th January 2024 – Babington, one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship and training providers today announces strong Ofsted outcome with ‘Good’ awarded across all inspection categories.
The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is responsible for ensuring high quality teaching and learning across all funded providers – and regularly inspects institutions against a rigorous set of standards.
Prior to today’s announcement, Babington’s last inspection took place in 2019, where the provider was also awarded a ‘Good’ rating. Since then, the business has made several significant changes – from navigating the pandemic and pivoting to digital-first delivery, to most recently making the strategic decision to double down in areas aligned to customer demand – ceasing the delivery of a number of non-core standards.
At a time where many apprenticeship providers have struggled to secure positive Ofsted ratings, this inspection outcome is testament to the impact of continuous improvement initiatives to drive the very highest quality across Babington’s provision.
Babington was judged to be a Grade 2 (‘Good’) provider across all five core inspection categories: Quality of education, Behaviour and attitudes, Personal development, Leadership and management, Apprenticeships.
Inspectors noted that:
“[Babington’s] leaders have clear and well-focused ambitions for apprentices. Over the last six months, the new leadership team has significantly reduced the number of apprenticeships and courses on offer. The team has rightly removed courses with not enough focus on learners’ and apprentices’ career aspirations.
They have improved recruitment arrangements, ceased working with less supportive employers, and made improvements to the planning and teaching of courses. This has led to a substantial decrease in early withdrawals and bodes well for the future.
Staff pay close attention to apprentices’ and employers’ needs to inform training. Managers organise courses well so that apprentices gain the initial knowledge they need before they learn new material.
During their studies, apprentices become ready to take on additional responsibilities and implement improvements at work. Almost all apprentices who complete their studies pass their final assessments, and many gain high grades.”
Inspectors also commented on the strength of pastoral and additional support that learners receive as part of their experience with Babington:
“Staff create a calm and respectful online learning environment that supports apprentices to learn.
Skills coaches develop apprentices’ knowledge of how to stay mentally healthy. In monthly reviews, they usefully focus on how apprentices are feeling and progressing. If an apprentice requires any support, relevant actions are agreed and implemented. Apprentices can also talk to the experienced staff in the safe and sound team. They offer a range of suitable support services or appropriately direct apprentices to external agencies.”
These observations represent critical components in ensuring the development of confident, rounded individuals who are equipped and supported to thrive.
Commenting on the inspection outcome, Jen Bramley, Chief Operating Officer, said: