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Boost for apprenticeships as Ofsted award Ebor ‘Good’ rating

Apprentices learning how to effectively support children in schools and nurseries are receiving high quality training from Ebor Academy Trust, say Ofsted inspectors.

In awarding the work of the apprenticeships team a judgement of “Good” in all areas, inspectors said apprentices “develop significant and relevant new skills, knowledge and behaviours” and that they feel valued and listened to and grow in confidence and resilience to carry out their roles.

“Trainers, who are well qualified and highly experienced in the sector deliver lessons that are interesting and thought provoking”, they said.

As an accredited training provider – working alongside nurseries, other multi-academy trusts and local authority schools as well as Ebor schools ­­– leaders and managers work well with employers to deliver programmes that meet employers’ needs, says the report. There is a “clear intent to provide apprenticeship programmes that equip staff in the education sector with the skills and knowledge needed to support some of the most vulnerable children and help them to achieve positive outcomes.”

Sue Hinchcliffe, director of apprenticeships for Ebor Academy Trust, which runs 23 primary schools across York, Selby, on the Yorkshire Coast and in Hull and the East Riding, said she was delighted at the official inspection report. “I am pleased that the inspectors acknowledged our positive and welcoming learning environment, our supportive and highly experienced staff and that as a result of training our apprentices are making valuable contributions to their settings.

“Our courses ­– currently for teaching assistants and for early years educators ­– are now all online for extra flexibility and are a no-cost way to upskill existing or recruit and train new staff irrespective of age. They are free to both learner and to the school or nursery involved. Inspectors recognised our offer is of the highest quality and is making a positive difference which will ultimately lead to better outcomes for children.”

The inspection report noted that headteachers are able to influence the apprenticeships curriculum to ensure that it best fits the business needs of their own school or nursery. They value the opportunity to work with Ebor to train apprentices and they appreciate the contribution that apprentices make in their settings.

Over half of the apprentices who completed their programme achieved a distinction grade in their end-point assessment. Leaders and managers provide apprentices with a suitable range of opportunities to widen their experience by visiting other schools and workplace settings.

Gail Brown, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust, said: “A big well done to Sue and her team for their hard work in developing apprenticeships programmes for education. Apprenticeships have been revitalised and now offer useful, practical ways to career advancement.”

• Sue Hinchcliffe, director of apprenticeships, is pictured front, with members of her team and current apprentices from Ebor’s Early Years Educator apprenticeship programme.

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