Academies’ trust praised by Ofsted for cutting unemployment

Principal Liz Barrett (centre), tutors, apprentices, students and staff at the trust celebrate their Ofsted rating.
Principal Liz Barrett (centre), tutors, apprentices, students and staff at the trust celebrate their Ofsted rating.

Policies that cut unemployment helped the trust that oversees further education at academies in Sutton and New Ollerton to achieve a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted inspectors.

The Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATT FE) was created in Nottinghamshire and is based at Sutton Community Academy and The Dukeries Academy. Ir provides programmes and apprenticeships for 16-to-19-year-olds and adult learners.

Ofsted carried out an ‘independent learning-provider inspection’ last month and praised the trust as ‘Good’ in all areas, including leadership and management, quality of teaching and learning, personal development and outcomes for learners.

Inspectors reserved particular praise for its “strong community ethos” and the strength and effectiveness of links established by ATT FE with local employers and JobCentre Plus. This, they said, gave learners access to “good-quality workplaces and apprenticeship opportunities”, helping them into long-term jobs.

Its programmes were also “valued” by the local community “because they contribute well to reducing unemployment” in an area that was economically deprived.

Liz Barrett, principal at ATT FE, said: “We are delighted with the report, which significantly acknowledges that work we do provides high-quality, lifelong learning experiences which have good outcomes.”

Her verdict was echoed by the trust’s chief executive officer Ian Cleland, who pointed out that “very few further-education providers” receive a ‘Good’ rating.

“The inspectors were particularly complimentary about our work with unemployed and disadvantaged learners,” he added. “We are proud of the huge commitment of Liz and her team.”

The Ofsted report praised tutors and assessors, who were “highly focused” in helping learners “gain the skills and attitudes required”.

It also pointed out that students and apprentices enjoyed learning and the benefits it brought to them. This was down to staff “positively encouraging them to take pride in tbeir work” and helping them “to develop comnfidence, self-awareness and an understanding of how to learn independently”.