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Angela Wilkins slams council's adult education provision saying they have "failed" latest Ofsted inspection

PUBLISHED: 09:29 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:29 05 April 2017

Labour leader Angela Wilkins

Labour leader Angela Wilkins

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All aspects of the report have received a rating of 'requires improvement'

Bromley Labour leader Angela Wilkins has slammed the council claiming they have “failed” a third Ofsted inspection within two years.

This week Ofsted released its report on a recent inspection of the borough’s community learning and skills provision.

The previous inspection in 2015 had given the service an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’, but with a ‘good’ rating for quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

However, this year’s inspection report has all aspected deemed to be ‘requires improvement’, and the reprt is prefaced with the comment: “Leaders and managers have been slow to address several issues from the previous inspection.”

The report’s summary also states that “teaching on courses in English for speakers of other languages is not consistently good and learners make slower than expected progress.”

Ms Wilkins said: “This is the third inspection that Bromley Council have failed in the last two years. First it was the youth offenders service, then children’s services, and now it’s adult education.

“There is a common theme in these reports - poor leadership and ineffective management - the very thing the senior councillors are responsible for.

“in all of this my biggest concern is for the people the council should be helping and supporting. They are quite simply being let down. Meanwhile, our council tax goes up every year, so ‘pay more, get less’ seems to be all the Tories here are offering us and quite frankly it’s not good enough.”

However, some aspects of the report are not damning.

It references the following in its summary of findings: “Leaders and managers have successfully managed a significant transition, restructuring the adult learning programmes to align more closely with the council’s overarching strategic mission.

“Bromley Adult Education College offers a good range of courses, in a wide variety of locations, ensuring good learning opportunities to the borough’s most disadvantaged residents.

“The tutors’ enthusiasm, and knowledge of, their subjects inspires learners to commit to their studies and maintain their interests, and motivates them to make good progress. Learners thoroughly enjoy their courses, gaining self-confidence, developing new vocational and personal skills and making friends.”

A Bromley Council spokesperson defended its adult education provision saying: “This latest Ofsted report clearly demonstrates there are firm foundations in place for the future of Bromley Adult Education College and includes positive feedback on areas such as student experience and the enthusiasm of our tutors. The council recognises, however, that there is still more work to do as part of our process of continuous improvement.

“Though we remain part way through this process, the report is clear that the service is already better focused towards the more vulnerable and disadvantaged in the borough, is streamlined to work within a substantially reduced budget, and therefore well placed to sustain a strong and appropriate adult education offer to the residents of Bromley.”

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