Ofsted inspectors assessed the quality of the university’s school chaplaincy apprenticeship programme and awarded it a positive first report.
St Mary’s University only began offering apprenticeships 18 months ago, so the positive report from Ofsted will be highly welcomed.
The monitoring visits for apprenticeship providers differ from full and short inspections by Ofsted. They take place over two days and inspectors make progress judgements to assess whether providers can deliver high-quality training.
After a two-day visit, St Mary’s University was judged to be making ‘good’ progress in all areas, proving that the university is a great place for local apprentices to train.
Additionally, inspectors commented that leaders at St Mary’s University select, design and teach an effective curriculum that enables apprentices to develop significant new knowledge.
Another point the inspectors mentioned was that “apprentices have access to the same support that students studying on campus at the university have.”
This means that apprentices have been receiving the support they need to make good progress in their training and that there is no discrepancy between apprentices and regular students.
Apprenticeship head Eleanor Stewart welcomed the report, saying: “This was the first formal visit by Ofsted since the university introduced apprenticeships 18 months ago, and we feel that the positive report is a significant achievement and testament to St Mary’s commitment to widening participation and student success.”
Eleanor also mentioned that the university is planning to launch new apprenticeships on the back of the positive report.
She said: “We are looking forward to building on their recommendations and now using our expertise to launch new apprenticeship routes.”