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Skills and Learning Service Praised by Ofsted

Skills and Learning: Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole are celebrating their first Ofsted report.

The service, previously known as Adult Learning, has recently merged across Dorset through excellent partnership working between the three local authorities. Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, with a number of positives in the report, the service is hugely popular with over 10,000 enrolments last year across Dorset. Particular highlights within the report include:

•The focus on recruiting unemployed learners or those who have multiple barriers to learning and progressing them onto courses to increase their chances of employment
• The report is particularly complimentary about the workforce stating that ‘all the staff provide a high level of care and support to learners to enable them to reach their full potential’
• Inspectors recognised as a strength that ‘a large majority of learners progress on to further courses, employment or volunteering’
• The governance of the service was also regarded a strength, with inspectors reporting that ‘the Board have an excellent oversight of the service and insight into provision. The merger with Dorset was very effective and well managed’
• The report praised the excellent partnership working across the service, stating that ‘three authorities work harmoniously together to provide what is seen to be a seamless skills and learning service.’
• ‘Service leaders and managers ensure the quality of teaching and learning is highly effective and improving’

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, Borough of Poole, said: "Following the merger of Skills and Learning: Dorset, with Bournemouth and Poole, the new team have worked extremely hard to ensure a smooth transition to the new service. It is great to see this work rewarded and shows how effective the merger has been. The team deal with a huge number of learners a year and to receive such a positive Ofsted report is a credit to everyone involved in the service.

Cllr Robert Gould, Leader of the Council, Dorset County Council, said:  “This report is testament to the hard work of all involved in adult education in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, and our desire to provide the best possible learning and outcomes for learners. Adult education has such an important role to play in improving skill levels and boosting confidence, so it’s particularly pleasing to see that a large majority of learners’ progress on to further courses, employment or volunteering.” 

Deputy Leader, Councillor Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “This is great news and recognises the successful merger that has taken place across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. To achieve such a positive Ofsted report is testament to the great deal of hard work by all those involved in the service. In changing times we demonstrate that this service still has great relevance to residents across the county, helping them into employment and further opportunities.”

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