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Gloucestershire Business News

Glowing Ofsted report for county learning provider

Independent learning provider Bridge Training Limited has been recognised for its positive work with disengaged young people with a 'Good' Ofsted report.

The training centre, which has been running for more than 30 years, provides a 'nurturing learning environment' for 14 to 19 year according to Ofsted inspectors.

Inspectors go on to say in their report that "learners enjoy the nurturing learning environment, which they find relaxed and fun. Staff are friendly and make themselves readily available to listen to learners' concerns"

It adds: "This helps build learners' confidence and their self-esteem. They re-engage with learning and benefit from new and exciting experiences."

The Ofsted inspectors highlighted the company's success and the fact that teachers repair views of education in the young people they work with turning them around from disengaged to achievers.

Mark Harrod, managing director of Bridge Training, said: "We are proud to have gained a 'Good' under the new Ofsted framework that puts people at the centre. For the learners we take at Bridge it is vital that we make our teaching learner focused.

Mark and Nikki Harrod, pictured with a learner at Bridge Training Ltd.

"Our learners could be 14 to 16-year olds who are home educated or who are in an alternative provider unit or they could be young people between 16 and 19 who found school or college was just not suited to their needs. We aim to learn the most about each one so we can encourage them to feel safe and comfortable at Bridge, we then work on their aspirations and lead them to achievement."

There are more than 250 learners between 14 and 19 enrolled at Bridge and Mark and his team offer an ever-growing range of courses but all with one thing in common - they are delivered to suit the individual.

Mark added: "There is a negative perception about the learners who attend our establishment but as one young person told the inspectors: Bridge is first choice not last chance. We are proud of those who come here who often have to overcome multiple barriers in order to achieve. But they do achieve and go on to secure good job placements upon completion of their courses."

20-year-old Pip Williams, who will soon be leaving Bridge, said: "I really do love Bridge. I arrived here because complications in my mum's disability meant I had to make several attempts at completing the course in digital media and photography that I wanted to do. This was followed by my own ill health. Bridge welcomed me and this year I look forward to leaving with a Level 2 Photography qualification and Level 1 in Digital Media.

"I have loved every minute and will be so sad to leave but I'm excited about the future."

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