Wakefield Council education service rated 'good' by Ofsted

County Hall
County Hall

Wakefield Council's adult education service has been rated 'good' by Ofsted after it was told to improve last year.

The service was last inspected in March 2017 when Ofsted judged it as ‘requires improvement’.

Since then the council has changed the curriculum and focused on supporting vulnerable, socially isolated and disadvantaged local people.

The service received a "good" rating in all key areas covered by the report.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We are fully committed to providing the best services possible for our residents that can have real impact on their lives.

"I am pleased that in a relatively short time we have been able to make the necessary changes needed to drive forward the transformation of this service and that Ofsted have readily acknowledged we have the capacity and leadership to deliver swift and effective improvement.”

The report highlighted the effectiveness of leadership and management to drive forward the improvements needed.

It said: “Leaders and managers take effective action to address areas for improvement within the service. The quality of education has improved swiftly and is now good.”

The report also praised council leadership and management for successfully bringing about an ambitious and open culture with a strong service team with the right skills, qualifications and experience to deliver the best services for learners.

The service was also commended for the good quality teaching provided, supporting learners to develop their knowledge and skills well.

It acknowledged that a high proportion of those learners then go on to progress to higher levels of study or improved employment opportunities after finishing their courses.

Rob Foreman, the chair of the governance board, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the significant improvements that have been made across the service.

"It is well deserved recognition of all the hard work which has resulted in such positive outcomes for learners across the district.

"I am confident the service will continue to go from strength to strength in the future following this positive inspection.”

The report acknowledges two areas for further improvement, including more careers advice available to those that complete courses and improved analysis on the destination and progression of learners.

Coun Box added: “We want all our residents to have a good quality of life and are proud to be delivering a strong education service for adults in the district that helps improve skills and education levels.

"We will not be complacent though and will strive to continue to improve even further to give our residents the best possible opportunities.”

The council’s adult and community education service has more than 500 courses to help residents learn something new, boost their career or pick up a new hobby, with a wider variety of courses starting early in the new year.

Many of the courses are free and support can be offered with fees, travel, equipment or childcare for those that are eligible. Online distance learning is also offered in many subjects.