The Ofsted Chief Inspector's Annual Report for 2007-08 has been published. You can get the full document here.
The section on Adult and Community Learning probably most relates to the WEA's work. It prints to a single page and you can get it here: Download ACL page in CIAR 07-08
It's a bit worrying. Overall inspection grades are only satisfactory and are declining, ESOL is weak and Family Learning is less good than previously. There are clearly concerns in Ofsted that ACL is a sector that's really beginning to struggle.
Within that picture, the WEA's inspection last March looks good, although we are still only satisfactory in Skills for Life including ESOL. There is a feature on the WEA in the current Ofsted magazine 'Talisman' which you can get here: Download WEA in talisman 71
The concerns raised by Ofsted are ones we need to look at hard ourselves: falling learner numbers, little reliable progression data, planning and monitoring of progress in non-accredited courses.
There has been a decline in non-accredited provision and some of these issues may be a symptom of trying to see ACL as all part of one FE system when the other elements of that sector are now self-defining well away from the areas of ACL strength. The Informal Adult Learning proposals are due out from Government soon and it will be interesting to see how these quality issues are considered in a policy framework which has placed considerable distance between the main 'Skills' agenda and provision which is often assumed to have few tutors let alone high quality.