Ofsted inspection brings ‘Good’ news for learners with Hampshire County Council

Learners and apprentices develop the ‘skills to live successfully’ thanks to teaching and training programmes provided by Hampshire County Council. This is one of many positive findings following a recent Ofsted inspection of the County Council’s ‘Hampshire Achieves’ service, which has been rated ‘Good’ overall and in all aspects of its service, including courses to support families and for learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

Dec 18 2023

Hampshire Achieves is a County Council run service which provides education, training, and community learning for young people, adults, families, and apprentices to help them into employment, improve their numeracy and literacy, and support their mental health and wellbeing. The service works collaboratively with its partner providers to meet these needs, namely Community First Wessex, Itchen College, Gateway Central Services, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service, and the County Council’s Library Service.

Currently more than 1,500 learners are enrolled on courses and apprenticeships with the service.

Councillor Steve Forster, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Our Hampshire Achieves service does incredible work to support people into employment, while also going above and beyond to help them lead happier, healthier lives in terms of their mental health and wellbeing.

“Upskilling Hampshire residents remains a key priority for the County Council and is essential not only to driving Hampshire’s social and economic prosperity but, most importantly, to helping our residents thrive both professionally and personally. As a major employer ourselves, we are equally committed to growing and nurturing our own talent and are pleased to provide apprenticeships through our Hampshire Achieves service to our staff.

“It is clear to see that Hampshire Achieves continues to make a profound difference to the lives of many learners from across all backgrounds in Hampshire, and I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised this positive impact. Congratulations to all our learners both past and present and thank you to everyone in the service, and our partner providers, for their hard work and dedication to investing in the talent of today and tomorrow.”

The Ofsted inspection of Hampshire Achieves took place from 7 to 10 November and found that learners and apprentices are ‘motivated to succeed’ and ‘value the support and care that tutors provide highly so they can achieve their goals’. Inspectors noted that ‘learners and apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be independent’ and which are ‘expected for learning and work in modern Britain’.

The service was praised for the added value it brings to learners in terms of personal and social development, including opportunities to learn about keeping physically and mentally healthy and to take part in extracurricular activities such as community projects and the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Inspectors also highlighted the strengths of the service’s provision for learners with SEND, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who ‘grow in confidence and develop the skills they need to move on to further learning, employment and independent living’.

Additionally, inspectors spoke highly of the service’s apprenticeship offer which enables learners to ‘make a positive contribution to the workplace that employers value highly’. Currently 124 County Council employees are enrolled on apprenticeships with Hampshire Achieves and working in a variety of roles.

Thomas Yeaman from Alresford, an Apprentice Business Support Assistant, has recently completed a Level 3 apprenticeship in Business Administration and was recently named Apprentice of the Year at the County Council’s Chairman’s Apprenticeship Awards.

Commenting on his experiences with Hampshire Achieves, he said: “This opportunity has been a great start for my career, and being named Chairman's Apprentice of the Year is a true honour. I've enjoyed learning and applying that knowledge in my work. I extend my gratitude to my tutors and team for their unwavering support throughout my apprenticeship."

To find out more about Hampshire Achieves and the wide range of courses and apprenticeships available, visit the County Council’s website.