Adult education in Wokingham Borough has been judged as good by Ofsted following an inspection last month (July).
The service, which provides a range of educational classes to residents through a network of partners, received good judgements across the board. This is a huge leap forwards from when adult education was last inspected in November 2014 and its overall effectiveness was found to be 'requires improvement'.
The report, published on August 8 highlighted 'learners, benefit from well targeted provision that provides them with confidence, self –reliance and useful employability skills' and 'Teachers know their learners very well and are responsive to their needs, supporting them to overcome often multiple barriers to learning'.
The vast majority of learners achieve the qualifications they are studying for or achieve/exceed their course aims or learning goals.
Cllr Richard Dolinski, deputy executive member for children's services, said: "I'm delighted with the outcome of this inspection. We've worked very effectively with our teachers over the last eighteen months to address the key areas for improvement following the previous inspection. Our learners can be confident our courses are high quality and that if they enrol with us they will receive support to develop confidence, self-reliance and skills which will help them to enter and progress in the workforce."
Inspectors found the following key strengths of the service:
- Senior council officers and leaders of the service have worked very successfully to deal with key areas for improvement from the previous inspection
- Managers make sure that the service offers courses in response to thorough analyses of local and regional skills needs
- Learners in communities under-represented in education, or in areas of economic hardship, benefit from well-targeted provision that provides them with confidence, self-reliance and useful employability skills
- Leaders have significantly improved the management of subcontractors and strengthened tendering and quality assurance processes
- A high proportion of learners successfully complete their courses. Retention, attendance and achievement rates are now good for accredited and non-accredited courses
- Learners receive good feedback from teachers, which encourages and motivates them to take part enthusiastically in lessons
- Teachers know their learners very well and are responsive to their needs, supporting them to overcome often multiple barriers to learning
The council recognises there is still more to do. Ofsted has highlighted initial assessment and setting challenging targets are two areas which can still be further improved.