Norfolk’s troubled adult education service to have new interim head next month

Wensum Lodge in Norwich, where the adult education service is based.

Wensum Lodge in Norwich, where the adult education service is based. - Credit: Archant

A new interim head of Norfolk County Council's adult education service will be place by early next month, as it fights to overcome an 'inadequate' rating from inspectors.

The service was given the bottom rating by education inspectorate Ofsted in March, in a report which criticised leadership and management, as well as outcomes for learners and quality of teaching.

Ofsted returned to the service on April 1 for a monitoring visit, but inspector's Paula Heaney report was delayed until after the election.

In it, she wrote that the interim head of service would be in place by early June to 'drive rapid improvement across the service and to strengthen aspects of quality assurance and learning'.

The report said: 'Current work and activities are centred on a very detailed action plan which highlights all the improvement points identified in the inspection. It is not yet linked to clear, over-arching themes or key performance indicators.

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'From discussions with leaders and managers, it is clear that the priorities are rightly to ensure that as many learners who are retained this year achieve their goals and qualifications and that staff receive initial training to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.'

The report said attendance monitoring is now in place, and governance of the service, which provides learning at more than 300 sites, has been strengthened by a cross-party steering group, although its members 'lack a clear understanding of the key priorities for the current year and do not yet have sufficient high level performance data to enable them to analyse performance and progress against targets.'

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The report said that all teachers are expected to attend a one-day staff development event in the summer term.

Councillors previously said the service may lose funding an shut if a full re-inspection next year does not find improvement.

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