Ofsted praises West Sussex County Council’s clear vision for education and skills in Adult Learning

Adult learners across West Sussex, including the most vulnerable, are being supported by the County Council’s ‘clear vision for education and skills.’

Ofsted has commended the council’s provision for adults who need to develop their learning following an inspection earlier this year.

In a report published on 31st July 2023, the service has maintained its ‘good’ rating that was previously achieved in 2017.

Inspectors praised both the management and governance of the service as well as the quality of teaching and the experience for learners, noting that ‘learners enjoy their learning, and they build confidence successfully.’

The main findings of the report were:

· Learners build their confidence quickly and achieve their goals well

· Learners highly value their lessons, the experience they are getting and the knowledge and skills they are developing

· Young people take part in lessons despite previous negative experiences

· Most learners benefit from the wide-ranging and regular careers advice and guidance that WSCC and its partners provide

· Tutors design activities skilfully and work effectively with learners

· Tutors use assessment effectively to understand learners’ starting points and regularly check what they have learned

· Leaders and managers have a clear vision for education and skills: to support the most vulnerable, including refugees, adults with learning disabilities and those who may not be in education, employment or training

· Leaders and managers are developing a responsive curriculum, with the help of their partners, to closely match the needs of their communities

· Leaders and managers provide tutors with highly valued training and have clear plans for their professional development to sustain improvement

· Governors are determined to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of the communities WSCC serves and that continued improvement is sustained

· The arrangements for safeguarding are effective

The report also highlighted the Council’s ability to adapt following the sudden collapse of its largest Adult Learning subcontractor in November 2022. It found that the service ‘acted rapidly to prioritise the needs of learners’, ensuring ‘minimal disruption to learners’.

To further improve the Adult Learning provision, the report noted that West Sussex County Council should strengthen governance and practices with new contract partners, and ensure that learners have progression routes for further qualifications.

Councillor Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Learning and Skills said: “I am delighted that the continued hard work of all our staff in Adult Learning has once again been recognised with a positive Ofsted rating.

“It is clear that West Sussex County Council is offering a quality adult education provision and learners are having a positive, engaging and safe experience with us. I am particularly proud of our commitment to supporting vulnerable individuals and am pleased to see this has been acknowledged by Ofsted.

“We know that there is always room for improvement, and we will continue looking for ways to develop our Adult Learning service to ensure that we can help as many people as possible in West Sussex to fulfil their potential through education and opportunities to learn.” Please visit the West Sussex County Council Adult Learning Service webpage for more information about this service.

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