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«This report presents the findings from a survey of college provision in hairdressing and beauty therapy and identifies the factors that enable ...»

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Identifying good practice: a survey of

college provision in hairdressing and

beauty therapy

This report presents the findings from a survey of college provision in hairdressing

and beauty therapy and identifies the factors that enable students to produce high-

quality work and make good progress. Inspectors visited 12 colleges where provision

had been judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection.

Examples of good practice are given and recommendations are made for further improvement across the sector.

Age group: 16+ Published: March 2009 Reference no: 070247 The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects registered childcare and children’s social care, including adoption and fostering agencies, residential schools, family centres and homes for children. It also inspects all state-maintained schools, non- association independent schools, pupil referral units, further education, initial teacher education, and publicly funded adult skills and employment-based training, the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), and the overall level of services for children in local authority areas.

If you would like a copy of this report in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone 08456 404040, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.

You may copy all or parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes, as long as you give details of the source and date of publication and do not alter the information in any way.

Alexandra House 33 Kingsway London WC2B 6SE T: 08456 404040 Textphone: 0161 618 8524 E: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk W: www.ofsted.gov.uk No. 070247 © Crown copyright 2009 Contents Executive summary 4 Key findings 5 Recommendations 6 Contributory factors to good-quality provision in hairdressing and beauty therapy 6 Achievement and standards 6 Teaching and learning 7 Monitoring and assessment of learners’ progress 10 Responsiveness to the needs of learners and employers 11 Guidance and support for learners 12 Learners’ views 14 Leadership and management 14 Quality improvement 14 Resources 15 Equality of opportunity 16 Notes 17 Useful websites 17 Annex A 18 Colleges participating in the survey 18 Executive summary At the colleges visited for the survey, most success rates were high and improving.

Learners’ hairdressing and beauty therapy professional skills were outstanding; they were well motivated, worked hard, had high levels of attendance and were punctual.

Learners had a successful record of taking part in competitions and were encouraged to use these events to develop their creative skills. Colleges had a strong tradition of celebrating learners’ successful completion of their course of study.

Teachers used a wide range of teaching and learning methods to develop learners’ hairdressing and beauty therapy skills. They managed college salons particularly well, combining good-quality learning with commercial authenticity. Teachers were successful in developing a constructively self-critical culture in learners which improved their ability to analyse their performance and advance their skills development.

In the salons, teachers made sure that as well as developing good technical skills, learners developed high levels of expertise in client care and salon management.

Most teachers were particularly successful at developing learners’ theoretical knowledge to underpin practical skills. Generally, teachers linked key skills to hairdressing and beauty therapy effectively but occasionally they did not develop learners’ key skills beyond level 1.

The colleges’ responsiveness to learners’ and employers’ requirements was good to outstanding. A wide range of courses, including specialist provision, was available to develop learners’ careers and provide the skilled staff needed by employers.

Employers supported colleges effectively by providing learners with a high standard of work placements and, at the best colleges, they gave talks and demonstrations on the latest commercial techniques. Teachers regularly took learners to trade exhibitions and competitions.

Learners received good guidance and support. At recruitment events, comprehensive advice and guidance helped potential learners to select the most appropriate course for their needs. They received thorough initial assessment and high standards of support for additional learning needs.

Managers were particularly effective at managing teaching and training, and guidance and support to ensure that success rates, standards of learning and learners’ vocational skills were at a high level. Staff development focused on improving teaching and learning and the vocational skills of teachers. Selfassessment was rigorous but did not always take account of the views of employers.

Managers ensured that learners worked in high-standard accommodation with modern equipment and ready access to information and learning technologies. In a few colleges the number and range of clients attending salons was insufficient to develop learners’ vocational skills.

4 Identifying good practice: a survey of college provision in hairdressing and beauty therapy Teachers promoted equality of opportunities effectively in lessons and tutorials. Most learners’ understanding of equality of opportunity was good. Colleges in areas with high numbers of learners from minority ethnic groups provided programmes of learning that met the needs of these groups. However, strategies to recruit more male learners to hairdressing and beauty therapy courses had not been successful.

Key findings In the hairdressing and beauty therapy provision surveyed, the following factors contributed to raising standards for learners.

Teachers maintained a clear and particularly effective focus on monitoring learners’ progress and performance, which ensured high success rates on most courses.

Teachers made good use of colleges’ hairdressing and beauty therapy salons to develop learners’ practical and professional skills to a high level. Learners demonstrated a high standard of client care skills and a good understanding of the commercial requirements of employers.

Teachers were adept at instilling a constructively self-critical culture in learners, which improved their performance and enhanced their hairdressing and beauty therapy skills.

The timely provision of good additional support for learners helped them complete their studies successfully.

Tuition in literacy and numeracy was a particularly effective and integral aspect of hairdressing and beauty therapy teaching and learning, which helped to improve learners’ professional skills.

A broad range of enrichment activities widened learners’ awareness of the industry and helped to raise their career aspirations.

Learners’ success was recognised effectively through well-established celebration events, photographs and displays.

The provision of good to outstanding specialist accommodation and resources ensured that learners gained experience of current working practices.

Curriculum managers provided a clear and very effective focus on raising standards for learners and meeting the needs of employers for a skilled workforce. However, recruitment strategies to increase the low proportion of male learners were not effective.

–  –  –

provide support and staff development to share the good practice that exists in hairdressing and beauty therapy provision.

Colleges should:

work with local authorities, schools and employers to recruit more men onto hairdressing and beauty therapy courses ensure the provision of clients in salons throughout the working week is sufficient in number and variety so that all learners can make good progress ensure employers are routinely consulted on their education and training requirements for their businesses.

Contributory factors to good-quality provision in hairdressing and beauty therapy Achievement and standards

1. Colleges visited for the survey had either well-established success rates that were well above the national average or rates that had increased markedly between 2004/05 and 2006/07. Success rates in two of the most commonly found national vocational qualifications (NVQs), in hairdressing and beauty therapy at level 2 and in hairdressing at level 3, had increased at a substantially faster rate than the national rate of increase. Framework success rates for apprentices and advanced apprentices in seven of the eight colleges that offered them had increased to or had been maintained at a level well above the national average.

2. The standard of learners’ work was high; often, very high. Learners’ hairdressing and beauty therapy professional skills were good in seven of the colleges visited and outstanding in five. Practical skills for hairdressing, including cutting, colouring and highlighting, dressing long hair, blow-drying and finishing were particularly good. In beauty therapy, learners’ application of different treatments was of a high standard. Learners’ expertise in manicures, pedicures, nail art, cosmetic application, eyebrow shaping, and cleansing, massaging and toning the skin was of a good commercial standard. Learners’ levels of creativity in the design of hairstyles and make-up were high. They paid

careful attention to health and safety. Their care of clients was outstanding:

they were welcoming and their communication skills were good. They were particularly effective at providing services to clients promptly in college salons.

6 Identifying good practice: a survey of college provision in hairdressing and beauty therapy Most learners worked well with colleagues. Learners made better progress than that predicted on the basis of their prior levels of attainment.

3. Learners were well motivated, with a good understanding of the commercial requirements of employers, and were very enthusiastic about working in the hairdressing and beauty therapy sectors. While at college, most were attentive and worked hard. Attendance overall was high and learners arrived punctually at lessons. They took particular care of their own appearance, including the use of the latest trends and fashions in hairstyles and make-up, to provide an image of professionalism to clients and colleagues.

4. Written work and portfolios were generally good, with especially good use of photographs. Projects were researched thoroughly. Learners made good use of information and communication technology in word-processing text and designing artwork for portfolios. They had a thorough understanding of theory and its relationship to practical work. Occasionally the organisation of portfolios was difficult to follow.

5. A strong characteristic of the hairdressing sector is competition work. Colleges had successful records of learners regularly taking part in local, regional and national competitions. They gave learners the opportunity to extend their vocational skills in a challenging environment, which replicated the best found in the sector.

6. The better colleges visited had a well-established tradition of celebrating learners’ success. Each year staff and learners arranged events attended by leading figures from the hairdressing and beauty therapy sectors, who presented prizes. Local employers and product companies often sponsored prizes. In the colleges’ hairdressing and beauty therapy areas, the success of learners was displayed prominently, and included photographs of learners taking part in competitions and receiving prizes.

Teaching and learning

7. Teachers paid careful attention to planning learning and they used a wide range of methods to take account of learners’ individual learning needs.

Teachers provided further assistance to those who took time to achieve a skill, through additional, short demonstrations of particular techniques; they gave presentations to the more confident learners on more complex treatments in order to develop and extend their expertise. Teachers were good at keeping up to date with current professional practice. Their own vocational skills were of a very high standard. They explained and demonstrated skills and techniques, and managed lessons extremely well.

8. A particular strength was the emphasis by teachers on developing learners’ hairdressing and beauty therapy and personal skills to a high level. Teachers ensured that learning activities featured the best practice from the commercial

–  –  –

Developing the creative talents of learners One college developed the creative talents of learners in a number of ways. Each year the college ran a competition that covered a wide range of hairdressing and beauty therapy themes and categories, including body art and painting. With guidance from teachers, learners prepared and produced their own designs for hairstyles and make-up for the competitions. The originality and quality of learners’ work was very good.

High numbers of employers and learners’ family members attended the event. The college photographed learners’ work at the competitions to celebrate their success and as a recruitment tool. Learners regularly took part in regional, national and international competitions. All second-year hairdressing learners planned and undertook a professional photo shoot of their work, using a specialist external agency, to develop their understanding of the importance of marketing. Regular evenings for friends and family involved learners designing and producing projects on particular themes. For example, the Eighties was chosen on one occasion.

Learners used models to replicate the look of the period, including hair, make-up and clothing. Learners had a weekly practical revision session in which teachers provided individual coaching on creative work and retraining on any aspect of skills, depending upon individual requirements.

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