A national education provider based in County Durham has been praised for transforming the lives of troubled learners and providing "outstanding" outcomes for thousands of people throughout the country.
Ofsted inspectors said Learning Curve Group (LCG), which has a turnover of £27m, produced a curriculum that was responsive to the needs of learners and employers, achieving very high pass rates that transformed lives in the process.
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Bishop Auckland, LCG employs 163 full time staff and 423 associates and works with colleges to provide flexible learning to students and distance learning to those looking for higher education and skills, and with employers to deliver apprenticeships in the workplace.
As a training provider the company is subject to Ofsted scrutiny, and has received an overall rating of good with outstanding features. The firm operates three skill centres, running mainly construction and motor vehicle courses, in Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Bishop Auckland, and three military centres in West Yorkshire, which prepare people for careers in the uniformed services and armed forces.
The education watchdog highlighted managers and staff for being “passionate about the impact that their courses have on learners’ lives”.
They found the skill and dedication of tutors had inspired some young people to abandon crime and gang-culture and embrace education, while work-place apprenticeships and distance learning enabled many in work to enjoy significant promotion and development.
Ofsted also praised the Bishop Auckland company for its “very high-quality” paper and electronic learning materials, which are used by 90,000 people a year through more than 100 colleges and private training providers, allowing them to learn at a time, pace and place of their choosing.
Judith Moran, founder and chief executive of LCG, said such advanced techniques were highly effective in matching fast-paced modern lifestyles with demands for learning.
“It is incredibly satisfying to know that the benefits to learners of the progressive education that we develop and supply has been recognised,” she said.
“Unlike many other sub-contractors in education, our work is scrutinised by Ofsted in the same way as that of our lead partners, ensuring quality is externally assessed and rated.
“I am extremely proud that our far-sighted education model has been so highly commended.”
LOfsted also rated its work in both public services and health and social care as “outstanding”, which includes its college and employer partnerships, and skill and military centres.
Lead report inspector Christopher Jones said LCG worked “exceptionally well” with partner organisations – including 39 colleges in the North East and around the country - and also had a “clear mission” to provide high-quality training and staff development for employers.