Company’s apprenticeship scheme praised by Ofsted

October 12, 2021

A local company’s apprenticeship scheme has been judged as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted after a recent inspection.

Decidebloom Limited, who trade under the name Stoneacre Motor Group, began providing apprenticeships in 2017. The inspectors visited the training academy site, which is located in Thorne, several times between July 20-23, 2021 to assess how well the apprenticeship scheme was being delivered. The company has never previously been inspected by Ofsted.

At the time of their visit, there were 67 apprentices enrolled on the scheme all from various different programmes including customer service, business administration and motor vehicle service. In the summary of key findings which was published in the official report, it said: “Apprentices successfully develop a highly professional approach to their work that enables them to represent the company very well. “Apprentices value their apprenticeship highly. They benefit from a high level of support and care from staff, which helps them to maintain a high level of motivation and participate actively in their learning and work, including during periods of Covid-19 restrictions. “Apprentices feel safe in the workplace.” The report highlights what the provider does well: “Managers have a very clear curriculum rationale for the apprenticeship programmes that they offer for motor vehicle technicians, business administrators and parts operatives. They plan the curriculum very effectively to develop apprentices’ knowledge, skills and behaviours to become skilled in their job roles and to take on specific responsibilities at Stoneacre. “Tutors accurately assess apprentices’ progress and clearly identify where apprentices have gaps in their knowledge and skills.”

The report also highlighted that the employer had effective measures in place for safeguarding the apprentices: “Leaders and managers have established a very effective safeguarding culture at Stoneacre that helps to keep apprentices safe. They carry out background checks on new staff to ensure their suitability to work with apprentices. “Managers frequently review safeguarding incident records so that they are aware of any increases in incidents and concerns, including deteriorating mental health during the pandemic. They take swift and appropriate action to intervene and support apprentices when they have concerns.” Claire Perkins, the group’s academy manager, said: “Six years of hard work setting up and developing the academy and an amazing team has paid off. I took occupational experts and made them teachers so our apprentices learn from the best in the industry. “I believe that if we change lives, we are doing our job properly. We thrive developing our apprentices for a career for life. We have developed apprentices in all divisions of the motor group. There isn’t a better feeling when Ofsted rang our apprentices and then rang their managers and they explained they were previously an academy apprentice and now have their own apprentices to manage.” She added: “I am so proud of all our apprentices and my team and the huge part they played in our Ofsted report.” To read the full report, visit:

The apprentices. (30-09-209 SU) 

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