Crosby Management Training is in its 25th year of trading and joined the Register of Apprentice Training Provider in May 2017. In the last week of March 2022 Crosby received its first full Ofsted inspection having been judged as making “Significant Progress” following a progress monitoring visit (PMV) in February 2021.
A team of 8 inspectors (Lead Inspector, two HMIs and five Ofsted Inspectors) were with Crosby for a week during which time they assessed Crosby against four areas and on its overall effectiveness:
|Ofsted inspection/judgement area:||Crosby’s Grade|
|The quality of education||Good|
|Behaviour and attitude||Good|
|Leadership and management||Good|
Paul Cadman, Crosby’s Chief Executive (and Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeship’s Quality Assurance committee until his term expired on 31 March 2022) said:
“I’m really pleased that Crosby has been graded ‘Good’ across the board at its first full Ofsted inspection. I’m grateful to all 8 members of the inspection team as they’ve shown us their particular perspective on quality in apprenticeships, something which is obviously very close to my heart. The excellent team at Crosby has taken the golden nuggets (‘insights’) gleaned from the inspection and is already embedding those into our provision so that all of our apprentices and their employers get the very best as we grow to the next level.”
What did Ofsted say about Crosby in it’s Inspection Report March 2022?
The report starts by summarising our numbers (we had 542 apprentices in learning during the inspection), it says we were established in 1997 and deliver a range of specialist apprenticeship programmes from Level 2 to Level 7. It then asks a few questions and answers them. Below are the first two:
What is it like to be a learner with Crosby?
“Apprentices have a positive attitudes to their learning and are motivated to develop their skills in the workplace. They quickly gain more responsibility at work because of the apprenticeship.”
What does Crosby to well?
“Leaders have developed a specialist curriculum which focuses precisely on the areas of expertise while supporting national skills needs… they have been involved in ‘trailblazer’ groups for the development of both butchery, HR and L&D apprenticeships, … As a result they have developed an ambitious curriculum based on current research, demonstrating high aspirations for apprentices’ skills development, and preparation for their next steps.”
What do Ofsted look for and what are their guiding principles?
Ofsted’s aim is to improve lives by raising standards in education. They are a force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focused use of inspection, regulation and insight. Ofsted Strategy 2022-27.
The inspection is carried out using Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework (EIF). Below is an extract from the EIF rather than the inspection report and purely for ease of reading the following words have been swapped so that they match Crosby’s context. Where the word is a Crosby word it is underlined:
|Ofsted EIF word||Crosby equivalent word|
|The Provider||Crosby (only where not misleading to use)|
Crosby were graded Good for:
Quality of education
Inspectors make a judgement on the quality of education by evaluating the extent to which Crosby demonstrate the following:
- leaders take on or construct a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all apprentices, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
- the provider’s curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment
- the provider has the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions for almost all apprentices. Where this is not practical – for example, for some apprentices with high levels of SEND – its curriculum is designed to be ambitious and to meet their needs
- apprentices study the full curriculum. The provider ensures this by training a full range of subjects for as long as possible, ‘specialising’ only when necessary
- trainers have good knowledge of the subject(s) and courses they teach. Leaders provide effective support, including for those training outside their main areas of expertise
- trainers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter they are training. They check apprentices’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their training as necessary, without unnecessarily elaborate or differentiated approaches
- over the course of study, training is designed to help apprentices to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts
- trainers and leaders use assessment well, for example to help apprentices embed and use knowledge fluently or to check understanding and inform training. Leaders understand the limitations of assessment and do not use it in a way that creates unnecessary burdens for colleagues or apprentices
- trainers create an environment that allows the apprentice to focus on learning. The resources and materials that trainers select – in a way that does not create unnecessary workload for colleague – reflect Crosby’s ambitious intentions for the course of study and clearly support the intent of a coherently planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment
- a rigorous approach to the training of reading develops apprentices’ confidence and enjoyment in reading. At the early stages of learning to read, reading materials are closely matched to apprentices’ phonics knowledge
- apprentices develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Where relevant, this is reflected in results from national tests and examinations that meet government expectations, or in the qualifications obtained
- apprentices are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Where relevant, they gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.”
Crosby were graded Good for:
Behaviour and attitudes
Inspectors will make a judgement on behaviour and attitudes by evaluating the extent to which:
- Crosby has high expectations for apprentices’ behaviour and conduct and applies these expectations consistently and fairly. This is reflected in apprentices’ behaviour and conduct
- apprentices’ attitudes to their education or training are positive. They are committed to their learning, know how to study effectively and do so, are resilient to setbacks and take pride in their achievements
- apprentices have high attendance and are punctual
- relationships among apprentices and colleague reflect a positive and respectful culture.
- leaders, trainers and apprentices create an environment where bullying, peer-on-peer abuse or discrimination are not tolerated. If they do occur, colleagues deal with issues quickly and effectively, and do not allow them to spread”
Crosby were graded Good for:
Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of apprentices by evaluating the extent to which:
- the curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational. It provides for apprentices’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents
- the curriculum and the provider’s wider work support apprentices to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy
- at each stage of education, the provider prepares apprentices for future success in their next steps
- the provider prepares apprentices for life in modern Britain by: equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society; developing their understanding of fundamental British values; developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity; celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law”
Crosby were graded Good for:
Leadership and management
Inspectors will make a judgement on the effectiveness of leadership and management by evaluating the extent to which:
- leaders have a clear and ambitious vision for providing high-quality, inclusive education and training to all. This is realised through strong, shared values, policies and practice
- leaders focus on improving colleague’s subject, and pedagogical content knowledge to enhance the training of the curriculum and the appropriate use of assessment. The practice and subject knowledge of colleagues are built up and improve over time
- leaders aim to ensure that all apprentices complete their programmes of study.
- leaders engage effectively with apprentices and others in their community, including – where relevant – parents, carers, employers and local services
- leaders engage with their colleagues and are aware and take account of the main pressures on them. They are realistic and constructive in the way that they manage colleagues, including their workload
- leaders protect their colleagues from bullying and harassment
- the governors understand their role and carry this out effectively. They ensure that Crosby has a clear vision and strategy and that resources are managed well. They hold leaders to account for the quality of education or training
- those with responsibility for governance ensure that Crosby fulfils its statutory duties, for example under the Equality Act 2010, and other duties, for example in relation to the ‘Prevent’ strategy and safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of apprentices
- the provider has a culture of safeguarding that supports effective arrangements to: identify apprentices who may need early help or who are at risk of neglect, abuse, grooming or exploitation; help apprentices reduce their risk of harm by securing the support they need, or referring in a timely way to those who have the expertise to help; manage safe recruitment and allegations about adults who may be a risk to apprentices and vulnerable adults
Inspectors will always report on whether arrangements for safeguarding apprentices are effective.”
What does Ofsted say about what Crosby needs to do better?
Ofsted said that Crosby needs to do 4 things:
“Ensure that all apprentices have a clear understanding of the grades available to them, so they can achieve their full potential.
Ensure that trainers plan and give focused training to support apprentices to fill gaps in their English and mathematics skills.
Ensure that all apprentices have access to impartial careers advice and guidance, beyond that of progression opportunities in their current workplace, so that they are aware of the full range of progression opportunities available to them.
Ensure that apprentices’ understanding of life in modern Britain and the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism are continually developed throughout their apprenticeship, so that they can apply this to their daily lives.”
A message from Tammie Harwin, on behalf of Crosby’s Quality and Performance Board:
“On behalf of the Crosby Governing Board, I am delighted with the outcome of the Inspection which reflects the hard work and dedication of the team. It’s great to see the significant level of specialist sector expertise held by the Crosby team translating into an ambitious curriculum, which, added to our wider skills development opportunities, leads to a quality experience for our apprentices. It’s also wonderful to hear more about how our apprentices are progressing in their workplaces and onward careers as a result.
The feedback from the Inspection will be really helpful to further increase quality, and as a Board we are keen to ensure we play our part in those next steps. The team aspire to be Outstanding and we know that they have immediately begun work to achieve that next time.”
Crosby would like to thank all its apprentices, their employers and colleagues for the work they all do which gets assessed by not only Ofsted’s inspectorate but also Crosby’s internal audit & quality assurance system along with the ESFA’s audit function. In addition, special thanks must go to the following people for their specific involvement and contribution to the Ofsted inspection of Crosby 2022:
|Name||Organisation||Role in the Inspection|
|Tom Bartlett||Crosby||Ofsted Nominee|
|Rebecca Watson||Apprentice Governor, Home Bargains||Governance|
|Sam Edwards||Colleague Governor||Governance|
|Emma Horne||Crosby||Leadership & Management|
The actual report can be view on our website or can be searched for on the Ofsted website or via this link.
Paul Cadman Chartered FCIPD, CMgr CCMI
Crosby Management Training Limited