Adult learning service in Suffolk is ordered to improve

Sally Butcher of Realise Futures

Sally Butcher of Realise Futures - Credit: Archant

The company providing adult learning services in Suffolk has been told to make improvements by Ofsted.

Suffolk County Council (SCC) has divested its community learning provision to Realise Futures, a community interest company (CIC) which had previously provided services from within the council.

The operation has been rated as 'requires improvement' by standards watchdog Ofsted following the inspection last month.

There is plenty of positive feedback in the report, which says that the majority of learners make 'at least the progress expected of them given their starting points'.

However, it points out that success rates are not yet consistently good enough across all curriculum areas.

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ICT learning and community development programmes were found to be 'good' by inspectors but the overall rating was 'requires improvement' – a new grade to replace the old 'satisfactory' rating under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Sally Butcher of Realise Futures CIC said: 'We are totally committed to delivering a service which supports adult learners to gain new skills and get the best outcomes possible.

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'Ofsted's report comments on the successful planning of courses and how they are focused on those adults in the county who are in most need of support.

'The report goes on to state that the large majority of these learners are making the progress expected of them, from their starting point.'

She added: 'Inspectors concluded that we have accurately identified the improvements required to raise the outcomes for all learners. However, we will continue to work hard to ensure that strengths are built on and areas for improvements are fully addressed.

'We are working hard with SCC to ensure that improvement is swift and fully believe that the steps we are taking will see the service rated as 'good' at the next Ofsted inspection.'

Colin Noble, SCC's cabinet member for health and adult care, said the county council was committed to ensuring adults can access high quality community learning provision.

He said: 'As a result of Ofsted's findings, we have asked Realise Futures to produce an improvement plan for our approval.

'We will continue to work with and support Realise Futures in developing and improving the services they offer and ensure Ofsted's recommendations are addressed.'

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