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Strength of community links commended as Nottinghamshire’s ATT FE secures Ofsted Good rating

Following an Independent learning provider inspection report by Ofsted in June 2017, Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATT FE), based at Sutton Community Academy in Sutton-on-Ashfield and The Dukeries Academy in New Ollerton, has achieved a ‘Good’ rating.

ATT FE provides 16 – 19 study programmes, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships across north Nottinghamshire and was praised in all seven areas of the inspection– outcomes for learners, pupil development and welfare, teaching and learning, and leadership and management, as well as each provision.

Senior leaders at ATT FE were described as “ambitious for learners and apprentices”, ensuring “robust performance management” which has improved the quality of the provision and eradicated poor teaching and learning. Inspectors praised tutors and assessors as “highly focused” on helping learners to “gain the skills and attitudes required” which results in a “large majority” staying in education, training or employment. In addition, Inspectors highlighted ATT FE’s “strong community ethos.”

Inspectors repeatedly praised the strength and effectiveness of links established by ATT FE with local employers, organisations and the Jobcentre Plus. This has had several benefits for learners including being able to access “good quality work places and apprenticeship opportunities”, providing “new opportunities for the many disadvantaged learners that ATTFE serves” and “considerable numbers of learners moving from long-term unemployment into sustainable employment.” ATT FE’s programmes are described as “valued” by the local community “because they contribute well to reducing unemployment” in national, regional and local priority areas which are relatively economically deprived.

During the inspection, learners and apprentices stated “they enjoy learning and the benefits it brings them.” Inspectors commend staff for “positively encouraging learners to take pride in their work” which helps learners to “develop confidence, self-awareness and an understanding of how to learn independently.” Inspectors also recognised the “high expectations” which tutors and teachers have, using their “skills and enthusiasm to motivate and inspire learners and apprentices to progress and achieve.”

Of ATT FE’s 16 – 19 study programmes, Inspectors said learners receive “particularly effective” teaching, learning and assessment from tutors who “motivate learners to achieve high standards” across a large number of vocational areas such as construction, health and social care and business administration. Adult learning programmes are particularly commended, with learners “encouraged to reach their potential” and benefitting from “the considerable industry experience of tutors.” For apprenticeships, learners are enabled “to develop confidence and the ability to perform their role … to professional standards” whilst “knowledgeable and experienced” assessors conduct workplace assessments to ensure apprentices make expected progress.

Liz Barrett, Principal at ATT FE commented: “We are all delighted with the Ofsted report as we feel that it securely acknowledges the collective journey we have taken over the past few years to now be judged as a ‘Good’ provider. In addition, the report significantly acknowledges that work that we do in the communities that we serve to provide high quality lifelong learning experiences which have good outcomes and are completely inclusive in their delivery approach.”

Ian Cleland, CEO at Academy Transformation Trust commented: “We are proud that the excellent work done by ATT FE in Nottinghamshire has been recognised by a recent Ofsted inspection as Good in all areas. This is particularly important because very few FE providers receive this judgement. The Ofsted inspectors recognised the excellent work done for learners and were particularly complimentary about its work with unemployed and disadvantaged learners. The Trust is extremely proud of the huge commitment of Principal Liz Barrett and her team who give their time so generously and who thoroughly deserve this judgement.”

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