Praise for Barnsley’s Adult Skills and Community Learning service after ‘Good’ rated Ofsted report

Barnsley Council’s Adult Skills and Community Learning service (ASCL) has been praised in a positive report from Ofsted.

The service which runs a wide variety of courses including English and maths at many venues across the borough welcomed education watchdog Ofsted in November, two years after its last inspection.

Inspectors graded the service for adult learners as 'good' in all five categories.

The report highlights how the service is committed to supporting adults to gain the skills and experience they need to be successful in their family units, at work and in their communities. It also recognises the strong relationships the service has with local partners to help progress learners into employment or further training.

Particular praise is given to tutors’ knowledge and teaching methods that inspire and motivate students to ensure that they progress and succeed. On community and family learning courses the inspectors say how “learners gain good practical skills that improve their confidence, social skills and well-being” and how “attending learning enriches their lives”. Inspectors also comment that learners “who have a history of mental illness benefit enormously by being part of a group” and achieve “success in learning, often for the first time”.

Highlights of the report show how ASCL increase personal development.

“Learners gain new skills, enhance their well-being and family lives, improve their employment prospects and become more self-confident. They take great pride in their work and achievements.” It also goes on to state “ongoing impartial advice and guidance help learners make informed decisions about their next steps into employment or further learning.”

Further findings in the report compliment the support provided to learners stating “a high proportion of learners on accredited adult learning courses successfully achieve their qualifications”. For those attending courses in subject areas such as sugarcraft and sewing the inspectors state how knowledge and understanding of the subject area is improved and how learners “improve their self-confidence and well-being through interactions with their peers and tutors.”

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “I'm delighted that Ofsted has recognised the great work the council and ASCL are doing to help the people of Barnsley to achieve their potential.

“I would like to thank the services team and tutors whose hard work and passion have achieved these results, and our students for their commitment to take up learning and achieve their goals.

"It’s never too late to learn, so if you're looking for a new challenge for 2019 why not look at the variety of courses on offer. Whether you want to gain skills or qualifications to further your career or increase your confidence and well-being, get in touch with our friendly team who will help find the right course for you.”

2,245 adults took part in courses run by Barnsley’s ASCL last year, and more than 1,700 qualifications were achieved. 95 per cent of the adult learners who attended would recommend ASCL to their family and friends.

For more information on courses available through ASCL visit or call 01226 775271.

The full Ofsted report can be found here.

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

We'll do everything we can to help people and their family to achieve their potential by raising aspirations and creating a healthier, safer and better-educated population. #OwnIt and help us to raise aspirations, confidence and develop enterprising behaviour by committing to keep learning and develop your career.

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