Adult learners on right track

'VERY PROUD' ... Coun Joan Atkinson, front, talks to young people about the Work-wise programme at St Mary's Centre in Tyne Dock, South Shields.
'VERY PROUD' ... Coun Joan Atkinson, front, talks to young people about the Work-wise programme at St Mary's Centre in Tyne Dock, South Shields.

ADULT learners in South Tyneside are completing courses successfully and achieving their personal goals.

They’re also improving their confidence, self-esteem and life chances, according to a new Ofsted report.

The education watchdog inspected South Tyneside Council’s adult and community learning (STCACL) provision in March and has just published its findings.

It was rated good overall, with leadership and management judged as outstanding.

Lead inspector Shahram Safavi said: “During a period of significant organisational changes, leaders and managers have provided outstanding leadership to ensure STCACL continues to offer high quality education and training courses.

“STCACL is extremely responsive to the education and training needs of South Tyneside communities, hard to reach learners and its stakeholders, and has widened participation outstandingly.”

Sub-contractors such as Groundwork South Tyneside and South Tyneside Catering Services, have also “fully embraced the drive for continuous improvement”.

Information about learners’ progress is also well-used to monitor and improve provision, the report added.

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are very proud of the recent Ofsted report reviewing the council’s adult and community learning service.

“The good and outstanding results represent all of the hard work being done in the borough to maintain a high standard of practice.

“The exceptional outcome has been achieved by a strong level of enthusiasm, the right attitude and continued commitment shown by teachers, learners and adult and community learning service staff in South Tyneside.”

Adult and community learning is the service through which South Tyneside Council delivers government funded post-16 learning and training.

This includes a range of learning opportunities, including introductory and short programmes, Level 1, 2 and 3 accredited programmes, apprenticeships, foundation learning programmes and employer responsive qualifications.

Coun Atkinson added: “South Tyneside Council is one of only two organisations in the whole country to have received ‘outstanding’ for effectiveness of leadership and management.

“This just shows the high calibre of performance the council aspires towards and a benchmark for our future achievements.”

In the last year, STCACL has dealt with 73 full-time and 4,624 part-time learners.

Twitter: @shieldsgazedu