‘Pockets of resistance’ from some staff as council tries to turn around adult education service

Helen Wetherall, interim head of Norfolk County Council's Adult Education Service

Helen Wetherall, interim head of Norfolk County Council's Adult Education Service - Credit: Archant

Efforts to improve Norfolk's troubled adult education service have met 'pockets of resistance' from some staff, according to a report.

The service had been graded 'inadequate' following a visit by inspectors in January, and councillors have warned its future is at risk if it does not improve by the next full inspection, expected in 2016.

An Ofsted monitoring report, published yesterday, said: 'Managers have moved quickly to bring about improvement and the actions being taken are focused well on strengthening outcomes for learners.'

However, it added: 'Managers readily acknowledge 'pockets of resistance' by a minority of staff to attend training events and accept the new performance management arrangements, and teachers' increased accountability.'

Richard Bearman, chairman of the adult education steering group, said this was partly resistance to change from some tutors, and partly due to difficulties attending some sessions.

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The council unsuccessfully challenged an Education Funding Agency decision to withdraw funding following the 'inadequate' verdict, and yesterday's report said managers had 'instigated urgent work to review the service's strategic intentions in relation to 16-18 learners'.

The report was published as the council announced a new interim head of the service, Helen Wetherall, a former head of adult and community learning at Calderdale Counci.

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She said the council was working with partners to make sure no 16-18 year olds were disadvantaged.

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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