– A clear focus on improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has resulted in a positive impact on the progress of apprentices. Staff and employers provide effective levels of care, support and motivation leading to good outcomes. Apprentices receive good support through frequent reviews and assessments and their progress is monitored effectively in individual learning plans. Employers’ premises are high quality and provide the breadth of services that give apprentices good opportunities to develop their skills.
– The quality of training and assessment undertaken by employers is evaluated and quality assured thoroughly by Span staff. Apprentices’ skill development is good and many apprentices demonstrate skills above the level expected. For example, apprentices in early years and playwork quickly become confident at dealing with parents and at leading circle time with children, and hairdressing apprentices become adept at colouring.
– Training in the vast majority of employers’ premises is excellent, with a clear focus on improving skills and progress. Off-the-job training is high quality and promotes good levels of understanding and knowledge. Apprentices arrive at sessions promptly and are ready to learn. Trainers are skilled and experienced; during sessions they make effective reference to vocational and professional examples to interest apprentices and extend learning.
– Varied learning activities, well managed by trainers, capture the interests of apprentices, and enable trainers to check knowledge and understanding. Apprentices demonstrate good levels of concentration and cooperate well in a range of learning activities, which they clearly enjoy. In one creative lesson, apprentices used smart phones to find images of specific haircuts, and emailed these to the trainer. The images were immediately projected for comment amongst the group, leading to a clear explanation of cutting techniques from the trainer.
– Staff treat apprentices fairly and ensure each has the opportunity to succeed. For example, trainers gave extra care and support to a young single parent to help her successfully continue with her training following maternity leave. Extra reviews support apprentices with additional learning needs, and any who may be falling behind with their assessments. Concern for safe working is strong in early years and playwork. However, protective equipment is not used consistently well in all employers’ salons.
– Initial and diagnostic assessment are thorough and these usefully inform the planning of training. Staff meticulously monitor the progress of apprentices. Apprentice reviews are frequent; the targets for progress are recorded in well-organised portfolios of a high standard. As a result, most apprentices are well aware of their progress and the remaining targets they need to achieve.
– Assessors carry out frequent high quality assessments on employers’ premises, encouraging apprentices to improve relevant technical and commercial skills. Targeted questions are used well to check apprentices’ knowledge and understanding. Apprentices speak highly of the support they receive from Span staff and their employers. However, written comments and feedback do not always provide apprentices with clear information on how they can improve their skills. A minority of targets are insufficiently challenging to ensure apprentices reach their full potential.