Following a recent Ofsted visit in March 2021, Linden Management have been awarded the achievement of reasonable progress. The theme of the visit was, what effective action leaders and those responsible for governance making are taking, to ensure the effective provision of education and training in the current circumstances. Below are some of the findings from the leadership team, the trainers and the apprentices’ perspectives.

Linden Management Leadership Team

Within the Ofsted report it highlights that the leaders have developed effective relationships with employers, working closely to ensure that the standard selected is the most appropriate for the needs of the employer and the apprentice.

Leaders have also been featured to have made changes to staffing and responsibilities creating a framework that drives constant improvement. A revised quality assurance process supporting the close tracking on the progress of apprentices has been implemented by the management team, meeting frequently (observing both face to face and online sessions) with assessors to identify actions and ultimately support the apprentices’ achievements.

If there is a need to utilise subcontractors in the provision of training, the leaders have been found to effectively manage this to ensure that apprentices not only receive the employer-led specialist training they require, but also the team leading the apprenticeship meet the requirements of the standard.

Safeguarding and the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism have also been identified as being embedded into the core of the business, supported by ongoing monitoring at all levels and a cleanly defined process for levels of reporting. Both employers and apprentices are provided with initial training on the process and with ongoing updates on emerging themes and potential threats.

The Trainers at Linden Management

To understand the starting point of the apprentices the trainers use a range of initial assessment tools, including their previous vocational experience. This is used to inform conversations with the apprentices and employer about the apprenticeship.

Following this initial assessment, the report highlighted that trainers carefully go on to select the curriculum to enable apprentices to develop the substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed in their job role and to progress to their next steps.

Trainers have been found to use a broad range of questioning within professional discussions, assessing and developing the apprentices’ understanding of knowledge. They use a variety of methods to provide apprentices with feedback on the progress they make. Oral feedback has been highlighted as being detailed and includes suggested improvements.

If apprentices have been furloughed or are unable to be assessed within the workplace, trainers continue to work with these apprentices. While practical assessment for light goods vehicle apprentices is not possible due to social distancing requirements, learners are supported to complete knowledge assessment.

Apprentices being supported by Linden Management.

Apprentices have been found to be effectively supported by the Linden Management team to develop their skills and support progression in the workplace. A specific example featured within the report was where, employers stated that the knowledge and skills developed during the team leading or supervisor apprenticeship have been instrumental in supporting their employees’ progress to leadership roles.

The frequent training workshops and progress reviews have found to be of benefit to the apprentices where they undertake scenario-based training as a group and learn from each other’s experience and knowledge. Where apprentices had participated in such workshops, employers were able to see a clear improvement in their working practice.

If you would like more information or details of the full Ofsted Report, email Rebecca Smith, Client Relationship Manager on: rebecca@lindenmanagement.org.uk