Ofsted's Annual Report has some key messages on Adult Community Learning. Holex has identified these:
- that over 75% of the ACL providers inspected during 2010/11 were found to be good or outstanding (compared with 55% across the learning and skills sector as a whole)
- that, notwithstanding this, there is no room for complacency (more could be done, eg on progression monitoring, and in "sharpening" self-assessment)
- that teaching and assessment (which will be even more important under the proposed revisions to inspection from September 2012) still lacks "sparkle" - over 30% of ACL providers were found to be Grade 3/4 in this element, and none were outstanding.
The full report can be found here.
I thought the points on quality of provision were the most interesting about ACL:
- The quality of provision was predominantly good.
- However, the quality of teaching, training and assessment, which forms a key component of the judgement on the quality of provision, was less positively judged, with 13 of the 45 providers judged satisfactory and one inadequate.
- As was the case last year, no provider was judged to have outstanding teaching overall; nevertheless teaching was judged outstanding in 10% of lessons observed.
- In those lessons where teaching was outstanding, tutors were highly skilled at providing examples and breaking down complex technical processes for learners; tutors’ enthusiasm was inspiring.
- The most successfully taught subject areas inspected this year were arts, media and publishing and preparation for life and work.
- In these sessions, tutors posed challenging questions, thoroughly checked learners’ understanding and made learning fun. They enlivened sessions by their skilful use of technology and provided excellent examples, explanations and demonstrations.
I guess it would be hard to disagree with an emphasis encouraging outstanding teaching which is both challenging and fun. Years ago one of my kids said 'fun' was a word you can't completely trust, citing 'Fun with Maths' and 'fun-sized Mars bars' - but nice to see it in an Ofsted report, nevertheless.