In April 2021 Ofsted assumed responsibility for the inspection of the quality of apprenticeship training at all levels, including levels 6 and 7. At Bath we currently deliver level 7 apprenticeships across three departments: Computer Science, Architecture and Civil Engineering, and Psychology.

After the initial Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit (NPMV) in May 2022, we had been preparing for a full Ofsted inspection, which was due within 18 months of the publication of the NPMV report. A full inspection involves detailed scrutiny of the quality of our apprenticeship training with a separate, yet nonetheless important, judgement of whether arrangements for safeguarding our apprentices are effective.

Following a deferral last November, due to the Vice-Chancellor recruitment activity taking place in the same week the inspection was announced, the call from Ofsted finally came through on Friday 9 February with 48 hours’ notice of the inspection visit. While degree apprenticeships form a very small part of our overall educational provision, five inspectors came onto campus for four days and left no stone unturned. The inspection team followed a very strict format based on the criteria set out in the Education Inspection Framework, and used this time to build evidence to inform their judgement of our apprenticeship training across the four key pillars of: quality of education, behaviours and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management. This involved detailed discussions with members of Council, senior leaders and managers, course leaders, academic and professional services staff across all departments delivering, or supporting the delivery of, degree apprenticeships, as well as our apprentices and their employers.

We can now confirm publication of the Ofsted inspection report and are keen to share the positive outcome and feedback received. The breakdown across the four key judgement areas to achieve Good for overall effectiveness is as follows:

  • Quality of education: Good
  • Behaviours and attitudes: Outstanding
  • Personal development: Good
  • Leaderships and management: Good.

Any ‘outstanding’ judgement for a first, full inspection is rare. The positive feedback from the inspection team throughout the inspection visit has endorsed what we thought we do well and helped inform priorities for improvement. Key outcomes provide clear evidence of a strong framework for future growth. They include references to the highly professional, experienced and inspirational teaching staff, aspirational culture across the University, effective quality assurance and governance processes, the wider education and training we offer to extend learning beyond the requirements of the apprenticeship, and support for apprentices with additional needs.

You can read the Ofsted report below. If you have any questions about the report or would like any further information on degree apprenticeships at Bath, please contact Miranda Blofeld, Degree Apprenticeships Compliance Manager (and Ofsted Nominee) on