Stafford healthcare firm criticised by Ofsted
The standard of training given to apprentices in Staffordshire looking to work in care has been criticised in a report.
Allied Healthcare Stafford, based at Staffordshire Technology Park, was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, which criticised the ‘woefully low expectations’ of managers and apprentices who ‘do not prioritise their learning’.
The company provides care and support to people in their own homes, and in the Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent areas.
The latest inspection from the education watchdog covered the training side of the business. Inspectors found ‘no key strengths’ and managers were labelled ‘complacent and unambitious’.
Maria Navarro, lead inspector, said: “Managers set woefully low expectations for their assessors and these, in return, fail to motivate apprentices to complete their learning programme on time and to a high standard.
“Complacent and unambitious managers do not set assessors sufficiently challenging targets to ensure the rapid progress of the already reduced number of apprentices on programme. At present, only a third of apprentices are on target to achieve their framework on time.
“Apprentices’ on and off the job training is not integrated sufficiently well to ensure they benefit from all the learning they undertake and apply it to their caring roles.
“Employers are insufficiently involved in apprentices’ reviews and the choosing of optional units.
“They fail to ensure that apprentices are making good progress and gaining the skills required for their current job role and future progression and promotion. The inspection team found no key strengths.”
The inspection rated Allied Healthcare inadequate in terms of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development, outcomes for learners and apprenticeships. Previously, the service had been rated as requires improvement overall.
The report even went as far as to state the company actually harmed learners’ chances of improving their career and prospects.
Ms Navarro added: “Teaching, learning and assessment are weak, they do not support apprentices to progress well and to acquire new occupational skills and knowledge. Apprentices receive poor information, advice and guidance about the next steps in their careers, thus impeding their chances to improve their career and employment prospects.
“The large majority of apprentices are making slow progress.
“The proportion of apprentices who have passed their planned end date or are at risk of not achieving in time is too high. Approximately, only one out of every three apprentices is on target to achieve on time.”
Allied Care was unavailable for comment when approached by the Express & Star.