Wolverhampton Adult Education Service is "outstanding", say Government inspectors.

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A team of 6 inspectors carried out a rigorous assessment of Wolverhampton City Council's Adult Education Service last month, and gave it top marks in all areas.

They found outcomes for learners, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and the effectiveness of leadership and management were all outstanding.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "This is an incredible achievement for our Adult Education Service and I'd like to pay tribute to the staff and students whose hard work has helped secure this excellent result."

In their report published this week, inspectors stated: "The vast majority of learners at all levels achieve their goals. Learners progress well from each level to the next and into further and higher education and employment.

"Leadership and management are excellent. Teaching, learning and assessment are outstanding, which is reflected in the very high number of learners who acquire very good personal, social and employability skills.

"Learners enjoy the consistently good and often outstanding teaching in a range of learning environments. Learners' work is of a very high standard and in most cases well above that expected for the level of course they are attending.

"Resources are excellent and give learners a very good experience of learning. Tutors provide each learner with very high levels of respect and encouragement."

The inspectors' findings are supported by latest data from the Skills Funding Agency showing that Wolverhampton Adult Education Service has the highest success rate for further education courses in the Black Country and Birmingham, with more than 90% of students passing courses.

The success rate for 16 to 18 year olds is even higher, at 97% against a national average of 81%. Students with learning or physical disabilities also have above average pass rates.

The Adult Education Service delivers a wide range of courses, including arts and crafts, creative studies, languages, English, Maths, ICT and teaching and care, from more than 50 venues around the city including the City Learning Quarter on Old Hall Street, with more than 9,000 students enrolling every year. Some courses are free or available at a reduced rate, depending upon an individual's circumstances.

Councillor Page said: "Wolverhampton Adult Education Service offers a great range of academic and vocational courses, everything from languages to floristry, as well as self improvement courses.

"It also does a great deal to prepare local people for the world of work through specific courses, such as help with CV writing, interview skills and training, and access to higher education courses. As a result, we have a high success rate of learners progressing into work, training or further and higher education.

"The Adult Education Service is exceptional in how it both values, and invests in, the individual, whatever walk of life they come from, and it's great that Ofsted recognises the tremendous learning opportunities that the Adult Education Service provides.

"I'd like to pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of our hard working Adult Education Service staff who have achieved this recognition and, coupled with the improvements we are driving through in our primary and secondary schools, this is superb news for students in Wolverhampton, whatever their age."

To find out more about the courses on offer from Wolverhampton Adult Education Service, please visit Type=links;Linkid=2102;Title=Adult Education Service;Target=_blank; or call 01902 558180. Alternatively, visit one of the information and enrolment days taking place at the City Learning Quarter on Monday and Tuesday, 9 and 10 February, 2015, from 10am to 7pm and Wednesday 11 February from 10am to 4pm.

  • released: Thursday 15 January, 2015