Ofsted 2014 inspection
16 April 2014
Ofsted awards Mantra Learning a Grade 2, ‘Good’, with many exceptionally good and strong features in a very positive inspection report
Mantra Learning a private training provider specialising in the logistics, automotive and contact centre sectors has been rated as ‘Good’ for Overall Effectiveness by Ofsted in its inspection report published today, 16th April. Following an inspection carried out between 10th and 14th March, Ofsted rated Northwest based Mantra Learning as ‘Good’ across all three of its key inspection criteria: outcomes for learners; the quality of teaching learning and assessment; and the effectiveness of leadership and management.
In his very positive report the Ofsted lead inspector observed that: ‘Mantra is particularly good at meeting the needs and interests of learners and employers. Managers have a good knowledge of local market intelligence and plan programmes well to meet local needs. Close working within their industry increases opportunities for learners and swells the pool of relevant skills for employers. Employers are highly complimentary about the learners they recruit from Mantra Learning. They recognise that learners have the right skills and attitude to meet their needs.’
The report also praised Mantra Learning for its exceptionally good resources: ‘Resources to support learning are of a very high quality and mirror industry standards. For example, learners developing their skills in the contact centre have access to the latest telephone equipment. In warehousing and storage, lifting machinery is particularly effective in supporting learners to acquire new skills or refresh existing ones.’
The inspector commented that Mantra learners ‘develop a wide variety of vocational, employability, personal and functional skills. These prepare them well for the next stage of their training or employment.’ He particularly singled out Mantra’s Job Gym for its success in helping job seekers into work: ‘Learners on employability programmes progress well into jobs. A significant number get jobs, often with the help of the provider, after the three month tracking period required by the funding body.’
The report also highlighted Mantra’s new traineeships programme that prepares young people for an apprenticeship. ‘Learners on the new traineeship programme gain a good grounding into the world of work and the logistics sector in particular. Progression into apprenticeship or employment is high. Since the first cohort, all trainees who have left the programme have either entered employment or an apprenticeship.
On the quality of teaching learning and assessment Ofsted concludes: ‘The majority of learners are highly motivated and engaged in their learning. They benefit particularly well from the good support and care from staff. Training advisors provide good coaching, which enables learners to acquire good practical skills. Apprentices quickly make good contributions to their workplaces, take on extra responsibilities…or they gain promotion at work’.
Ofsted highlighted the strength of Mantra’s leadership and management: ‘Leaders have high aspirations, which are shared and espoused by staff. They offer clear strategic direction based on the needs of the industry and local and national priorities. Close and tireless working with providers, agencies and industry in the region is having a very beneficial influence on training and skills development in the Greater Manchester area. Mantra has developed good capacity to improve further through organisational development, careful staff recruitment and significant investment. Operational management is strong. The provider is flexible and responsive to the needs of partners, employers and learners.’
Commenting on the publication of the Ofsted report, Mantra Chief Executive Mark Currie said: ‘I am particularly pleased that Ofsted has recognised the hard work and commitment that my team have put into developing and growing our business over the past few years. We have clearly demonstrated that we not only make a positive impact on our employers’ businesses but we also dramatically change a lot of people’s lives. I would like to thank all our learners, employers and staff for their support and openness to Ofsted during the inspection process.’
One of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and six additional inspectors, assisted by the chief executive officer as nominee, carried out the inspection. Inspectors used group and individual interviews, telephone calls and online questionnaires to gather the views of learners and employers; these views are reflected throughout the report. They observed learning sessions, assessments and progress reviews.
The full report can be found here