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Birmingham Adult Education Service

2019 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Managers should ensure that staff who work with learners who have SEND:
    • provide learners with precise learning goals that support them towards independent living
    • review these goals frequently to monitor learners’ progress
    • ensure that these goals are clearly communicated to care workers and support staff to enable them to give learners the support to achieve their goals.
  • To improve the use of management information across the organisation, managers should ensure that:
    • all staff have access to the management information system
    • all managers can use the information effectively to analyse trends and intervene to address underperformance
    • teaching staff have the training to use the information to plan learning programmes that address the needs of all their learners.

2017 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Those in the governance role should provide more effective scrutiny and challenge to managers to improve the quality of learning to the highest possible standards by:
    • outlining reporting requirements to the senior managers so that they produce periodic reports on the basis of individual learners on roll compared to previous years, their achievement of qualifications and wider skills, their progression and destinations and the difference the service makes to the lives of local residents by ward, learner groups, ethnicity, gender and levels of learning against the stated priorities for the service
    • seeking regular reports from the senior managers on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and its impact on learners.
  • Ensure that staff take full account of the findings of initial and any other assessments as well as learners’ aspirations and prior learning to:
    • devise specific, measurable and challenging learning aims for learners
    • conduct a thorough review of learners’ progress and evaluate their achievements
    • plan individualised programmes of learning for the returning learners based on their progress on previous learning and their long-term aims.
  • Collect, analyse and use data at individual learner level on all stages of the learners’ time with the service, such as participation, attendance, progress, achievement and progression, to identify any patterns, monitor the impact on learners and set targets to improve further.
    • Use this information to plan learning programmes and target resources at different parts of the city, learner groups and communities.
    • Use the data to produce a self-critical report on the true performance of the service and devise a quality improvement plan that sets clear targets for improving the quality of learners’ experience.
  • Prepare staff to raise learners’ awareness fully of e-safety and the risks posed by the internet, including those of radicalisation and extremism by:
    • making regular references to the topic by using media and the learners’ personal experiences to deepen their understanding of the issues as they affect them and their families
    • including e-safety in class discussions to make learners aware of dangers such as identity fraud, social media and cyber bullying with real-life case studies and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their children.
  • Ensure that observers evaluate the impact of teaching, learning and assessment on learners during learning walks and lesson observations, and set targets for tutors to improve learning and skills development for learners.

2014 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Improve GCSE mathematics and science examination high grades by ensuring that relevant programmes are on offer at more locations and times and tutors increase their efforts to help and motivate learners with the potential to do well.
  • Ensure managers rigorously and routinely examine the gaps in performance between males and females on accredited courses and the slightly poorer performance of those from disadvantaged areas and take appropriate action to resolve any issues identified.
  • Make data, including attendance rates and learners’ feedback, more readily available to all staff so that they can promptly deal with any potential problems.
  • Improve the tracking of learners’ destinations and progression so that managers and staff can more effectively align provision to match individual needs, but in doing this ensure no duplication occurs with government initiatives.
  • Improve the physical state of a minority of learning centres to ensure that learners do not study in poor conditions that could impact on their learning.
  • Use the current system of observations of teaching and learning and staff development more effectively to deal with minor weaknesses in teaching and learning including:
    • using the systems for monitoring and improving punctuality and attendance more consistently to deal with potential problems promptly
    • ensuring, where questions are used in lessons, tutors use them to enhance or test better the understanding of all learners
    • using the current systems for planning and implementing individual learning more effectively
    • where it is available and is part of a lesson, fully exploiting the potential of learning technology
    • planning additional activities to stimulate and stretch the more able learners
    • ensuring all tutors make better use of opportunities to develop learners’ broader mathematical skills.

2012 Full Inspection Report
What does Birmingham City Council need to do to improve further?
  • Continue to monitor data and make timely interventions to further improve retention and success in non-accredited provision.
  • Increase the proportion of teaching and learning that is good or better by continuing to develop tutors and by increasing the time spent on the controlled practice of skills for learners in class.
  • Develop learner use of information technology, including the use of the learning intranet, to improve their learning, employability, social inclusion and access to further education.
  • Ensure all learners are provided with well-focused feedback to promote extended and independent learning.

2011 Full Inspection Report
What does Birmingham City Council need to do to improve further?
  • Improve the provision in literacy and ESOL through management action that increases attendance and retention rates, raise the standard of teaching and learning and improve the structure of programmes.
  • Continue to increase retention rates for learners on accredited and nonaccredited programmes in all subject areas where these have declined and are below the national averages.
  • Improve tutors’ skills further to ensure that all teaching is consistently good through more widespread use of peer observations, coaching, mentoring and sharing of good practice. Ensure greater engagement of tutors in quality improvement including course reviews and the self-assessment process.
  • Provide systematic information, advice and guidance on progression to all learners and use a system that accurately records non-accredited outcomes and learners destinations.
  • Review and refocus management to ensure roles and responsibilities are clear and all staff have greater accountability for curriculum development, provision of learning and quality improvement.
  • Improve the speed and timeliness of data collection and reports to ensure that the decisions, including those on attendance, retention and achievement of learners, support quality monitoring and quality improvement better.
  • Improve the accuracy and effectiveness of monitoring and improving teaching and learning by reducing the observation team, simplifying the observation process, re-focussing it on learning, following up inadequate teaching more quickly and developing the skills of tutors graded satisfactory.
  • Set and achieve a minimum standard of equipment, resources and refurbishment so that all learners receive learning in good quality accommodation across the service.
  • Increase the speed and timeliness of decisions by the council to remove uncertainties and to ensure that the learners are not further disadvantaged through its policies and processes on recruitment of staff, property improvement, purchasing and checks on vetting learners.

2008 Full Inspection Report
Key areas for improvement
  • The insufficiently effective audit of course files to monitor quality or consistency
  • The insufficient specialist training for tutors in teaching learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities

2007 Full Inspection Report
Key areas for improvement
  • Success rates in some subject areas
  • Planning and monitoring of individual learning
  • Development of learners’ literacy, numeracy and language skills
  • The development of programmes for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • The coherence of quality improvement arrangements
  • The identification and sharing of good practice

Report Recommendations