South West Durham Training outstanding in all areas, say Ofsted

Training provider South West Durham Training provides "consistently high" outcomes for learners

SWDT chief executive Trevor Alley
SWDT chief executive Trevor Alley

A leading training provider in the region is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection report following a year of dedicated improvements.

South West Durham Training (SWDT) in Newton Aycliffe, was given the stamp of approval under the Further Education and Skills inspection report in July and has attributed the result to hard work and commitment from staff.

The training provider offers intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in engineering in Newton Aycliffe and throughout the North East.

It recently launched an Employer Pledge campaign, which aims to promote the value to companies of employing an apprentice, and has also secured a prestigious contract to work closely with Hitachi, which is building a plant in Newton Aycliffe.

In the Ofsted report, the organisation was given the top grade in all four areas: overall effectiveness, outcomes for learners, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and effectiveness of leadership and management.

The training centre, which is a registered charity, is the first member of the Group Training Association of England ever to have received an outstanding grade across all areas of provision.

The report said SWDT had made “considerable progress” since the last inspection in 2013, that outcomes for learners were “consistently high” and that “the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is now outstanding.”

Learners also received “particularly helpful guidance and support from vocational tutor assessors”, while the centre’s practice in data use, as well as its English and maths teaching, were recognised as areas of best practice for providers across the country to learn from.

Trevor Alley, chief executive of SWDT, said: “Having spent the past 10 years as an Ofsted inspector, I knew only too well what was required to improve the training environment at SWDT.

“I’m thrilled that the inspectors recognised the hard work and commitment shown by not only our staff but also the learners.

“I was particularly pleased that the report commented that leaders, managers and staff at SWDT are passionate about what they contribute to the success of their learners and apprentices.

“It’s a tremendous achievement for any training provider to receive an outstanding report and I’m delighted the team’s hard work over the past year has paid off to make a complete turnaround.”

“We have a long-term vision for South West Durham Training and that is to raise aspirations and attainment among our learners and produce highly skilled engineers who will excel when they leave us. Substantial progress has been made over the past year and we hope to continue this great work and build on the momentum.”


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