Ofsted is an acronym for the Office for Standards in Education, Children`s Services and Skills. Adult Learning is subject to Ofsted inspections as we are a provider of education and skills for learners. Ofsted is a non-ministerial department of the UK government and it reports to parliament, it is impartial and independent.
Ofsted carries out inspections, against the Education Inspection Framework, and then awards a grade to an organisation based on evidence it finds in 4 areas:
  1. Effectiveness of leadership and management
  2. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  3. Personal development
  4. Behaviour and welfare outcomes for learners
At the end of an inspection the organisation is awarded one of four grades:
  • a) Grade 1 - Outstanding
  • b) Grade 2 - Good
  • c) Grade 3 - Requires improvement
  • d) Grade 4 - Inadequate 
Adult Learning was last inspected in January 2018; at this point our service was rated as Good.
Key strengths
There were a number of key strengths identified in the report which we continue to develop such as;
  • Senior leaders and managers have been relentless in successfully eliminating the weaknesses identified at the previous inspection.
  • Many learners develop very effective personal, social and employability skills, including improved confidence and self-belief through good-quality teaching, learning and assessment. 
  • Learners benefit from effective guidance and coaching from skilled tutors that assist them to progress to their next steps.
  • The large majority of learners make good progress on their courses, gain new skills and acquire new knowledge, which helps them to realise their personal targets and move to their next steps.
Areas for improvement
There were also some areas for improvement; again we are working very hard to make improvements in these areas, as we continue to work towards achieving an outstanding grade.
The areas for improvement identified in January 2018 were:
  • Too many learners on accredited courses in 2016/17 left their courses early and did not achieve their qualifications
  • A small minority of learners do not make the progress of which they are capable.
  • Leaders and managers have not yet implemented an effective English and mathematics strategy to ensure that learners enhance consistently their existing skills and experiences
Adult Learning has a staff that is totally committed to making the improvements required to move to be an outstanding provider. We work with relentless ambition and passion for delivering the best service we can to the people of Cumbria. We always welcome comments from our learners, partners and stakeholders on how we can improve and we hope that you will choose to share your learning journey with us!