Ofsted inspectors praise the quality of adult education

The quality of Norfolk's adult education offering is outstanding, according to an Ofsted report published yesterday.

The service, provided by the county council, was give an overall rating of good with a good capacity to improve following an inspection carried out at the end of November.

The quality of the provision was highlighted as a particular strength and given the top grade.

The way the courses meet the needs of learners, the care, guidance and support given to them, and learning for young people aged 16 to 18, were also among the areas deemed outstanding.

The report said: 'The quality of teaching, coaching, learning and assessment is good and in some subject areas and programmes it is outstanding. Tutors are well experienced and qualified and keep their professional knowledge up to date. They plan their lessons well and learners make good progress.'

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Last night, Norfolk County Council said the adult education service played a key role in the county.

James Carswell, cabinet member with responsibility for adult education, said: 'I'm really pleased that the quality of the service, and particularly its success in meeting the needs of communities and employers in Norfolk, has been recognised in the report.

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'Adult education has such an important role to play in improving skill levels and boosting confidence and these things really help to shape communities, raise aspirations and reduce unemployment.'

Adult education was praised for the proportion of its learners who went on to further education, work or apprenticeships.

Inspectors set the service a number of targets which include improving its apprenticeship and preparation for life and work programmes, and raising the overall quality of teaching and learning to outstanding.

Beverley Evans, head of adult education and guidance services, said: 'We'll build on the findings of Ofsted and continue to ensure that we are delivering provision that is relevant to people's lives and that can offer progression and skills to enter into new employment, underpinned by outstanding guidance, support and care.'

Adult education caters for about 16,000 people a year in Norfolk and runs courses ranging from digital photography to work-based skills.


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