A local authority provider has been rated outstanding by Ofsted for the first time since 2015.

Redbridge Institute of Adult Education has received top marks in all headline fields.

The report was full of praise for the organisation, which teaches at a main adult education campus in Gants Hill and 47 other community settings in the east London borough of Redbridge.

“Teachers have extremely high expectations of their learners, their enthusiasm to pass on their knowledge to learners is infectious and lessons are fun,” inspectors said.

Leaders and managers have a “clear and accurate understanding of the quality of provision”. They have “successfully raised standards and addressed the significant majority of weaknesses identified at the previous inspection”.

Teachers promote English and maths skills “particularly well”, learners acquire “high-level” of self-evaluation and critical thinking, and “learn how to take responsibility for their own development”.

According to Ofsted statistics, there are 136 local authority providers and just three have grade one ratings: Oldham metropolitan borough council, Wolverhampton adult education service and Kirklees council adult and community learning.

Oldham was most recently inspected, retaining its grade one at an inspection in November 2015.

The quality of learning support for learners at Redbridge Institute who need extra help and support is “excellent”.

“Teachers accurately identify the starting points of learners, both on accredited and community learning courses,” inspectors added. “They provide frequent and valuable verbal and written feedback to learners.”

The vast majority of learners’ work was also “of a high standard” and “learners take pride in maintaining well organised folders”.

Inspectors were impressed with how learners on craft-related community courses “develop good higher-level technical skills”. For example, “learners on a jewellery course became adept at using riveting and chainmail techniques”.

The proportion of learners who complete and achieve their qualifications has been high for several years.

The institute provides community learning from entry level to level four for learners drawn predominantly from Redbridge. It taught over 2,400 learners last year, and most study at up to level two.

“This result really puts Redbridge on the map and recognises the commitment, support and expertise of all our staff who provide the innovative and inclusive provision which enables our very diverse range of learners to thrive and succeed,” said Joni Cunningham, the principal.

“I am very proud of both the learners’ achievement and what they will go on to contribute to their communities, as well as the commitment and professionalism which our staff have always shown in supporting them.”

“The governing body has always been dedicated to the success of our learners who benefit from the outstanding learning opportunities and support we provide. This is an exciting outcome with new opportunities for the future,” added Margaret Partridge, the chair of governors.

Dr Sue Pember, who leads adult and community learning providers and their representative body, HOLEX, was also delighted.

“Our members are very pleased and excited that an adult community learning provider has been recognised by Ofsted as outstanding overall, and in all areas and with no areas needing to be developed,” she said.

“The work Redbridge Institute does is inspirational, and this can be seen throughout the report and we are pleased that it was recognised that teachers support learners to develop their confidence, pride in their work and motivation to learn, as well as a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing.”

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment

  1. Well done to the Redbridge Institute and Joni Cunningham for getting the just recognition of her work over a number of years, culminating in this outstanding judgement. Under her leadership Redbridge were not only pioneers in promoting safeguarding and prevention of radicalisation for their own adult learners, but shared their good practice by making materials freely available to others in the sector. Adult education needs protecting and promotion of the services provided that can improve so many lives. Nice to see Ofsted convert a short inspection to a full one to recognise outstanding practice.