Image demonstrating Good OFSTED inspection for Northumberland’s Learning and Skills

Good OFSTED inspection for Northumberland’s Learning and Skills

All is ‘good’ after a recent OFSTED inspection of Northumberland County Council’s Learning and Skills team.

The inspection was the first short inspection carried out since the provider was judged to be ‘good’ in June 2014. The team was found to deliver a very high standard across the whole provision of Adult Learning, Employability, Apprenticeships and Careers Advice and Guidance.

OFSTED said that the Learning and Skills team place considerable emphasis on developing learners’ confidence and self-esteem which enables learners and apprentices to complete courses successfully. The report praised the very high proportion of learners and apprentices that successfully achieve their qualifications.  

Innovative schemes were also recognised in the report, such as moped hire to enable young people in remote parts of the county to access education and training.

Praised for safeguarding and learner welfare, the report also acknowledged the use of electronic mobile app ‘Tootoot’.

Councillor Wayne Daley, Northumberland County Council Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted that the Learning and Skills service has been recognised as being of the highest quality and is exemplary in many areas. The service puts learners first and has shown improved educational outcomes over a sustained period.

“The team have a clear strategy to provide courses for adult learners that enable them to develop the skills and vocational knowledge needed to successfully move into apprenticeships,  jobs, new careers or move into further education.” 

Further findings in the report show that managers cultivate excellent relationships with external agencies and employers. As a result, they have a comprehensive understanding of the local labour market and use this information to develop appropriate courses for individuals, communities and employers. 

The apprenticeships programme was highly praised with the current apprentices making very good progress in developing their vocational skills and undertaking their jobs with a high level of confidence, adding that they are valued highly by their employers.

In 2016/17 the  service directly helped over 4,450 learners onto courses, supported over 3,200 employment opportunities for those not in work and started 440 Apprentices.  Early indications are that 2018 has been an even better year for learners joining the service.

The full OFSTED report can be found here:
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