Leeds City Council’s education and training services have achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, recognizing their excellence in all areas including education quality and leadership. The council’s adult learning programs have had a significant impact, with success stories of individuals improving their skills, contributing to their community, and achieving personal growth.
What has Leeds City Council’s education and training services achieved in their recent Ofsted rating?
Leeds City Council’s education and training services have earned an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, marking a significant improvement from their previous ‘good’ rating. This assessment recognizes their excellence in all six areas including quality of education, leadership, and apprenticeship programs. The services have facilitated skill improvements and community integration, with notable success in adult learning and a 100 percent pass rate in council apprenticeships.
Recognition of Excellence
In a commendable achievement that sets a precedent for local authorities in England, Leeds City Council’s education and training services have been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted. This laudable recognition is the first of its kind since the introduction of the new education inspection framework in 2019. It marks a significant leap from the ‘good’ rating the service received in 2013. A meticulous inspection of the council’s adult skills provision and employer provider apprenticeship programme culminated in this result, signaling a noteworthy stride towards educational quality in the city.
The Ofsted report identified the service as exceptional across all six assessment areas. These include the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, adult learning programmes, and apprenticeships. The report highlights how adult learners in Leeds acquire valuable skills that often lead to transformative experiences in their lives. It commends the service for offering a “highly ambitious curriculum that meets a diverse range of needs across the city, widens participation in learning, improves life chances and develops stronger communities.”
Impactful Learning Experiences
One of the tangible success stories emerging from the council’s programme is that of Verginia Lazarencu, a beneficiary of adult learning who now contributes to her community by volunteering at a food bank in Leeds. Verginia’s journey began when she moved to Leeds from Romania and enrolled in a course to enhance her English and digital skills. The course did more than just upgrade her skillset; it facilitated new friendships, integration into the community, and knowledge about available support. “I try to encourage others I meet to get involved in volunteering,” Verginia said, emphasizing the rewarding nature of her work and expressing gratitude for the guidance and support she has received.
Statistics from the last academic year show that close to 3,500 residents were able to access community learning opportunities through the service. With a success rate of over 95 percent, these courses have been instrumental in improving skill sets, preparing participants for formal learning or employment, and bolstering their confidence and wellbeing. Moreover, the community learning initiative has been particularly beneficial for those with limited formal education, with more than 62 percent of participants lacking prior formal qualifications.
Apprenticeship Success and Future Prospects
In addition to adult education programs, the service also extends to apprenticeships within Leeds City Council, boasting a 100 percent pass rate. An impressive 57 percent of apprentices earned the highest-level distinctions, and 58 percent advanced to more senior roles after completing their courses. The Ofsted inspectors praised the “highly effective personal and social development programme for learners and apprentices,” which prepares them adequately for future employment and daily life. The commendable role of teachers was also highlighted for their consistent efforts in promoting the personal development of learners and apprentices.
The inspectors were equally impressed by the service’s support for learners in setting and achieving aspirational and personalized targets that align with their skills, age, and educational phase. Learners displayed motivation and were empowered to transition effectively to further learning or employment. The delivery of highly effective, bespoke programs, particularly for the most vulnerable learners to access education, was also recognized, involving careful collaboration with sub-contractors.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education at Leeds City Council, commented on the outstanding rating, saying, “We are delighted with this rating, and glowing feedback. It shows the huge amount of work that has been put into this service to achieve such as excellent result.” He continued by highlighting the dedication of the staff and the council’s commitment to supporting individuals through skills development and education about career options.
The Ofsted assessment underscores the employment and skills service’s contribution to the council’s Best City Ambition. This ambition seeks to address poverty and inequality and improve the lives of learners in Leeds. The service collaborates with various partners, including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the NHS, skills providers, and employers. Together, they work towards delivering inclusive growth and offering opportunities for everyone within the local economy.
The full Ofsted report can be accessed through the following link: Ofsted Report. For those interested in exploring training and skills opportunities in Leeds, information is available at Employment and Skills | Inclusive Growth Leeds.
This outstanding rating not only honors the efforts of all involved in enhancing educational services in Leeds but also positions the city as a leading example in providing excellence in adult learning and apprenticeship programs. With the community and individuals reaping the benefits of such high-quality educational provisions, the future looks bright for skill development and employment opportunities in Leeds.
- Leeds City Council’s education and training services have achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, recognizing their excellence in all areas including education quality and leadership.
- The council’s adult learning programs have had a significant impact, with success stories of individuals improving their skills, contributing to their community, and achieving personal growth.
- This is the first ‘outstanding’ rating for a local authority since the introduction of the new education inspection framework in 2019, marking a significant leap from their previous ‘good’ rating in 2013.
- The Ofsted report identified the service as exceptional across all six assessment areas, including the quality of education, leadership and management, and adult learning programs.
- The apprenticeship program within Leeds City Council has a 100 percent pass rate and has helped apprentices progress to more senior roles.