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Inspection Experience . Theresa Gardiner/Sandy Clark Learning and Skills Managers London Probation. Background information . London Probation Area covers 32 boroughs 10 Unpaid Work Centres – 4 of which have workshops 8 Centres delivering accredited programmes 13 Approved Premises (hostels).

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Inspection experience

Inspection Experience

Theresa Gardiner/Sandy Clark

Learning and Skills Managers

London Probation


Background information
Background information

  • London Probation Area covers 32 boroughs

  • 10 Unpaid Work Centres – 4 of which have workshops

  • 8 Centres delivering accredited programmes

  • 13 Approved Premises (hostels)


Learning and skills some facts and figures
Learning and Skills Some facts and figures

  • Approximately 34,000 court reports delivered in 2008-09

  • 7,447 Screenings carried out, of which 4,482 offenders were eligible for either literacy or numeracy support

  • 8,714 referrals made to Skills for Life initial assessment.


Inspection 3 10 march 2008
Inspection 3 –10 March 2008

  • 8 inspectors – 27 working days

  • Interviewed:

    • 50 probation staff

    • 79 offenders

    • Visited 23 classroom activities

    • Visited 35 sites


Points to mention
Points to mention

  • Good:

    • Communication with Lead Inspector pre-inspection – opportunity for “nominee” to prepare team

    • Communication with regard to sites to be visited

    • Opportunity for inspectors to meet with middle managers from interventions

  • Bad:

    • Two separate inspections encouraged marginalisation of Learning and Skills – only 2 points fed into LP’s PIAP


Inspection outcomes
Inspection outcomes

  • General feedback given on last day of inspection

  • From ‘draft’ report (never published) looked at ‘areas for improvement’ and produced PIAP

  • Feedback meeting with Inspector followed by meeting with Providers and LSC to discuss plan in more detail


Key strengths
Key Strengths

  • Good IAG sessions

  • Wide range of programmes

  • Good development of personal and social skills

  • Good achievement of outcomes

  • Good relationship between LP / Lead Providers / sub-contracted providers


Key areas for improvement
Key Areas for Improvement

  • Inadequate initial assessment to support sentence planning

  • Poor Individual Learning Plans

  • Insufficient recording of vocational skills on some UPW

  • Incomplete quality improvement arrangements

  • Underdeveloped ETE strategy


What has been done since the inspection
What has been done since the inspection?

  • Training delivered to improve quality of both initial assessment and ILPs

  • UPW units given shadow targets to encourage use of 20% hours in ETE

  • Screening at report stage improving month on month – level of need constant at around 60%


What has been done since the inspection 2
What has been done since the inspection? (2)

  • London Probation now taking more active role in informing what provision is required for our offenders – from OASys, now has information to clearly identify level and type of need

  • Skillstrain expanded into Approved Premises and Structured Supervision Programme, as well as OBPs and UPW


What has been done since the inspection 3
What has been done since the inspection? (3)

  • Offender managers more involved in tracking offender’s learning

  • Scheme to obtain information from prisons on previous education

  • London Probation now more involved in informing quality – Quality Improvement Group (QIG) now meets regularly

  • ETE strategy produced


How do we know we are making progress
How do we know we are making progress?

  • Co-ordinator developing Skillstrain eg Goldseal accredited music project

  • Learning and Skills Co-ordinators to help struggling boroughs develop processes

  • Improving performance by increased use of quantitative data eg ‘appropriate’ referrals


How do we know we are making progress 2
How do we know we are making progress? (2)

  • Awareness raising with magistrates and LP staff to end SAR-ETEs being handed out for breach. On-going monitoring of same.


Getting ready for inspection london s top 10 tips
Getting ready for InspectionLondon’s top 10 tips

  • Offer a full schedule of visits with directions

  • Provide ‘understudies’

  • Warn Reception & SPO staff

  • Provide a central location

  • Brief tutors – not a forum for their grievences


Getting ready for inspection london s top 10 tips1
Getting ready for InspectionLondon’s top 10 tips

  • Run briefings for staff

  • Telephone guidance available

  • Check SAR-ETE cases

  • Superusers needed for corrections

  • Have tea, coffee, and especially biscuits available


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