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Community learning service gets thumbs up across the board from Ofsted

Bracknell Forest’s community learning service, which provides educational courses for adults in the borough, has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted following its inspection in November 2017.

Inspectors found the council-run service to be ‘good’ in all five key areas: effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, outcomes for learners and adult learning programmes.

The findings from the report show Bracknell Forest Council’s efforts to raise standards following the service’s previous inspection have paid off. Inspectors noted that “leaders and managers have taken successful action to improve learners’ achievement rates and these are now high.”

Inspectors’ findings included:

  • leaders and managers work productively with partners to develop courses that meet learners’ abilities and interests well
  • learners develop valuable personal, social and work-related skills
  • the large majority of learners make good progress towards achieving their qualification or course goals
  • tutors and volunteers give learners very effective individual support during lessons that motivates them to work hard
  • learners use good quality learning resources, activities and technology that help them gain good subject knowledge and skills

The community learning service provides a range of courses, from computer skills, arts, crafts and cookery to classes to help people prepare for employment. Courses are available to all residents over the age of 19 who have been a resident in the EU for more than three years. 2,377 people in the borough enrolled on a course in 2017 and the council is keen to build on this in 2018.

Cllr Gareth Barnard, executive member for children, young people and learning, said:

"Our community learning service provides opportunities for all adults in the borough to develop new and existing skills, as well as offering people who are unemployed the opportunity to improve their chances of finding work via our weekly ‘Job Club’. 
"I am pleased Ofsted recognises the hard work of the team in ensuring the service improves since its last inspection and now rates it as a good provider of community learning for residents.
"We recognise there are still some areas for improvement and are already working on plans to address these, to ensure residents have access to the very best courses which enable them to continue building on their knowledge and skills and achieve their goals."     

The majority of Bracknell Forest’s community learning courses are run at the Bracknell Open Learning Centre on Rectory Lane. Courses are also run in community centres, Bracknell Forest children’s centres and schools across the borough, as well as through council partners, Involve and Bracknell Forest Homes.
To find out more about Bracknell Forest Council’s community learning service please visit the Bracknell Forest community learning page.
To read the report in full visit the Ofsted website.