Isle of Wight Smart Training & Recruitment are celebrating following the publication of their latest OFSTED report.
Significantly improved and a privilege to inspect… ‘good provider and its inspirational leadership’
Following the official Ofsted visit held between 14th – 18th January, a team of two of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and five additional inspectors concluded that Smart is a Good provider and has significantly improved its grades since the last inspection and was a privilege to inspect.
During their rigorous inspection the team observed teaching and learning practices and spoke to staff, learners, employers and partners associated with the business.
Strong pattern of improved attainment and high first time pass rates…
In their detailed report the team highlighted what they found to be some of the notable features of Smart, including; the quality of advice and guidance and support, how safe learners feel, good progression to higher levels, good use of online resources, the positive impact of linking employer need to ensure training links to the needs of the apprentice.
The inspection team also recognised the strong pattern of improved attainment over the last year, the good progress the learners were making and the high first time pass rate for Functional Skills.
95% would recommend Smart…
The learners and employers who completed Ofsted questionnaires resulted in an impressive 95% who ‘would recommend Smart to their friends and colleagues’ provided further evidence of Smart’s continued success and growing reputation.
Outstanding partnerships and support…
The inspectors were particularly impressed with the outstanding partnerships established between employers, volunteer groups and the local authority – the main focus on promoting progression, learning and employer development. For example, working closely with the Isle of Wight Council and employers, supporting the pre-apprenticeship programme, which has been created especially to support and encourage young people into work and apprenticeships.
The main findings and grades for Overall Effectiveness was Good, confirming that the outcome for learners, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, effectiveness of leadership and management also Good.
Andrew Briggs, Commissioning Manager for 14 – 19 education and skills at the Isle of Wight Council said
“ We are delighted to hear the outcome of Smart’s recent inspection and the progress they have made in supporting the apprenticeship pathway on the Island. This work has contributed to the increase of Island apprenticeship numbers which are now at 1,730 – an increase of 2.3 per cent from last year – and the number of those achieving the full apprentice rising to 940 – an increase of almost 25 per cent. The support we have received from Smart to deliver these important council initiatives has helped us to achieve these figures and provide more opportunities for young people – we look forward to our continued partnership.”
Rob Drake-Knight, Co-Founder of Rapanui Clothing said
“Smart wholeheartedly deserve the recognition they have received from Ofsted, they provide an excellent level of assessor support and attention and have helped us to develop our apprenticeships.
They put the day-to-day work into context with their learning and the Smart assessors are there for us if we need support to reiterate a point. I would highly recommend Smart to any business to help them get the most out of their apprentices”.
Jan Hopkinson, Managing Director of Smart said
“ I am absolutely delighted and thrilled that the hard work and commitment shown by our staff, our learners and employers has been recognised and documented in this report and that the significant improvements we have made have been so clearly highlighted. The report also indicates what we can do to further improve our services and I am in no doubt that with the continued commitment, dedication, teamwork and support of everyone involved, Smart will soon become an outstanding provider. This is an attainable goal and one that we shall be rigorously pursuing”
Smart Training and Recruitment is a private limited company with its Head Office on the Isle of Wight, operating in nine regions across England, working with a wide range of employers, which include small and medium-sized enterprises and large national companies. Two owner-directors (Jan and Dean Hopkinson) have overall responsibility for the company currently employing 140 full time staff (45 of whom live and work on the Isle of Wight).
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