10 Nov 2017

Plan to improve Island's adult education

An action plan to improve the council’s adult education service will be implemented following an Ofsted report that assessed the provider as ‘requires improvement’.

Work to boost the management of the service and tackle problems such as low attainment in maths and English and course attendance will now take place as a priority.

A new advisory board was already in place to address issues before the inspection by the education regulator last month and this will take over the driving up of standards.

Ofsted found managers had been slow to make improvements identified in a self-assessment report and progress in raising standards in teaching, learning and assessment, particularly in maths and English, was slow.

However, learners felt safe, enjoyed learning with the experienced tutors and they developed increased self-confidence that encouraged them to take further courses.

“This is a disappointing report from Ofsted on a service that had previously been rated as good but there are many plus points too and the council is very confident it can improve,” said Councillor Paul Brading, the Cabinet member responsible for the service.

“We set up a new advisory board in September to address some of these issues that had already been identified before Ofsted came and this will implement the action plan to improve standards through detailed performance reports.

“The service has suffered from the absence of key managers and this has hampered progress, but staff are hard-working and committed to helping adults gain qualifications, life skills and jobs. We work with adults aged 19 to 100, with the majority being aged 30 to 50.

“My view on this report is simple: I see no reason why we cannot make the changes necessary to regain our good rating once again.”

The central government-funded service provides learning for around 840 people aged 19 or over from disadvantaged backgrounds and those wanting to improve skills and qualifications to help gain employment.

There are five categories of courses, including health and wellbeing, foundation programmes for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults, adult skills, digital skills, plus a small number of family learning courses. 

Councillor Brading sits on the advisory board along with adult social care Cabinet member Councillor Clare Mosdell.

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Plan to improve adult education
Plan to improve adult education
  • The service provides learning for around 840 wanting to improve skills and qualifications to help gain employment.
Isle of Wight, UK