Span Training and Development Ltd. have been rated overall “Grade Two – Good” by Ofsted after the inspection they carried out in 2014 and again in 2018.  The occupational sector grade for Hairdressing was “Grade Two – Good” and for Childcare “Grade One – Outstanding”



Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Every week, Ofsted carries out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits throughout England and publish the results online.



Below are some key conclusions that Ofsted brought about Span Training and Development in their 2014 Report.

To see and download the full report, please visit Ofsted’s official website or simply click here.

Why Rated Good

–  Success rates for most apprentices are good and performance gaps between different groups of apprentices are closing.

–  Most apprentices make rapid progress in developing employment-related and vocational skills.

– Progression from intermediate to advanced apprenticeships is very good and many apprentices take additional qualifications and higher-level courses in assessment and management.

–  Good quality off-the-job training promotes very good levels of understanding and knowledge.

–  Apprentices gain good communication skills and develop productive and professional relationships with staff, clients, and each other.

– Strong performance management and staff development measures support continual improvement in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

–  Quality assurance processes are thorough and lead to improvements that have a positive impact on learning.

–  Apprentices talk confidently about their work and their wish to progress to higher levels of learning; they are inspired by staff to consider a good range of career opportunities. The vast majority of them remain in employment and progress to advanced apprenticeships.

– The promotion of equality and diversity requires improvement in hairdressing but is outstanding in early years and playwork. Early years and playwork apprentices have a thorough understanding and are able to apply this knowledge in their practice. In hairdressing training sessions and during reviews, trainers and assessors miss opportunities to develop apprentices’ awareness and understanding.

Outcomes for Learners

–  Outcomes for apprentices are good. Success rates reflect the fact that most learners are making good progress relative to their starting points and achieving their qualifications. Success rates overall and within planned timescales vary from significantly above national rates in early years and playwork, to around the national rates in hairdressing.

–  Trainers and assessors set challenging targets for most apprentices. They provide helpful and detailed written and oral feedback that supports apprentices’ swift progress and independent learning. A minority of learners make slower progress because the feedback they receive is insufficiently detailed. The majority of apprentices’ work meets or exceeds the framework requirements and many apprentices gain useful additional qualifications.

–  Apprentices enjoy their learning and feel very well supported by their tutors, assessors and the Span Training and Development Limited (Span) field service managers. Their attendance is good and they arrive on time for off-the-job and workplace training where they develop good employment-related skills, make good progress and produce high quality work. A good proportion of apprentices achieve English and mathematics qualifications at the appropriate level and a minority achieve at a higher level, which supports their progression to the advanced apprenticeship.

–  Managers closely monitor the relative performance of different groups of learners, and the progress of individuals, using an effective locally developed management information system. As a result, they have recognised and taken action to arrest the decline in success rates for hairdressing apprentices and reduce performance gaps; for example, between learners with identified learning difficulties or disabilities and those without, and between 16- to 18-year-old apprentices and their older peers.

–  Apprentices develop mathematics, English and information and communication technology (ICT) skills effectively through off-the-job training sessions. However, hairdressing trainers and assessors pay insufficient attention to correcting errors in grammar and spelling. Apprentices also develop additional job-related skills, for example in perming. They also develop team working and communication skills through very effective group working during off-the-job training.

–  Staff spend productive time with apprentices on the employers’ premises supporting them to achieve their functional skills and enabling completion of their framework. In the off-the-job training sessions mathematics is integrated well. Apprentices understand the relevance to their studies, for example in cutting angles in different hairstyles. However, trainers do not routinely or adequately correct spelling and grammatical errors in written work included in hairdressing apprentices’ portfolios.

The Quality

–  A clear focus on improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has resulted in a positive impact on the progress of apprentices. Staff and employers provide effective levels of care, support and motivation leading to good outcomes. Apprentices receive good support through frequent reviews and assessments and their progress is monitored effectively in individual learning plans. Employers’ premises are high quality and provide the breadth of services that give apprentices good opportunities to develop their skills.

–  The quality of training and assessment undertaken by employers is evaluated and quality assured thoroughly by Span staff. Apprentices’ skill development is good and many apprentices demonstrate skills above the level expected. For example, apprentices in early years and playwork quickly become confident at dealing with parents and at leading circle time with children, and hairdressing apprentices become adept at colouring.

–  Training in the vast majority of employers’ premises is excellent, with a clear focus on improving skills and progress. Off-the-job training is high quality and promotes good levels of understanding and knowledge. Apprentices arrive at sessions promptly and are ready to learn. Trainers are skilled and experienced; during sessions they make effective reference to vocational and professional examples to interest apprentices and extend learning.

–  Varied learning activities, well managed by trainers, capture the interests of apprentices, and enable trainers to check knowledge and understanding. Apprentices demonstrate good levels of concentration and cooperate well in a range of learning activities, which they clearly enjoy. In one creative lesson, apprentices used smart phones to find images of specific haircuts, and emailed these to the trainer. The images were immediately projected for comment amongst the group, leading to a clear explanation of cutting techniques from the trainer.

–  Staff treat apprentices fairly and ensure each has the opportunity to succeed. For example, trainers gave extra care and support to a young single parent to help her successfully continue with her training following maternity leave. Extra reviews support apprentices with additional learning needs, and any who may be falling behind with their assessments. Concern for safe working is strong in early years and playwork. However, protective equipment is not used consistently well in all employers’ salons.

–  Initial and diagnostic assessment are thorough and these usefully inform the planning of training. Staff meticulously monitor the progress of apprentices. Apprentice reviews are frequent; the targets for progress are recorded in well-organised portfolios of a high standard. As a result, most apprentices are well aware of their progress and the remaining targets they need to achieve.

–  Assessors carry out frequent high quality assessments on employers’ premises, encouraging apprentices to improve relevant technical and commercial skills. Targeted questions are used well to check apprentices’ knowledge and understanding. Apprentices speak highly of the support they receive from Span staff and their employers. However, written comments and feedback do not always provide apprentices with clear information on how they can improve their skills. A minority of targets are insufficiently challenging to ensure apprentices reach their full potential.