Blackpool Council courses told to improve

Ofsted
Ofsted

Watchdogs have told adult learning services at Blackpool Council it needs to improve.

Ofsted said Blackpool’s community learning and skills department, which provides adult courses at libraries, children’s centres, schools, and social services centre, is no longer rated as ‘good’.

A report, which followed two inspections during the summer, found:

• Tutors don’t set challenging enough targets and learners’ progress isn’t recorded well enough;

• Attendance on the majority of courses is ‘too low’;

• Learners are not given ‘useful and appropriate guidance’ to help them get a job or move on to the next stage of learning; and

• Most tutors don’t help learners’ understand ‘current issues to help them be better prepared to live and work in modern Britain’.

“Leaders and managers have not maintained the good-quality provision identified at the previous inspection,” Ofsted’s report said.

“As a result, learners, the vast majority of whom have multiple barriers to participating in education and employment, do not improve their life chances as much as they should.”

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary at Blackpool Council, said: “This is a disappointing report but we have a clear plan to make sure that our community and family learning courses can provide good quality additional education for people in the town.

“The feedback from students who take our courses shows that they really value their courses.”

The positives

Ofsted did make note of several positives in their report.

The environment in classes is ‘inclusive and supportive’, with diversity and equality welcomed.

Learning is provided to those who would benefit the most, and activities are interesting and motivating, the report said.

Those on accredited courses do well and achieve their qualifications, and tutors ‘skilfully’ integrate English and maths skills into most of the non-accredited courses.

Inspectors saw those on a cooking course use English and maths skills, for example.