Manchester’s Adult Education gets thumbs up

Manchester’s Adult Education gets thumbs up

Manchester’s Adult Education Service (MAES) has been given the thumbs up by government inspectors for its inclusive and ambitious curriculum, high quality education and training, and passionate leaders.

In their report published this week Ofsted inspectors graded every aspect of the service Good – from its overall effectiveness, quality of education, and adult learning programmes, through to provision for learners with high needs, and its leadership and management.

The service – which has over three thousand adult learners studying at centres throughout the city, with most learners studying courses in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), digital skills, English, maths, early years, and health and social care – was inspected over three days back in June.

Inspectors highlighted the respectful and inclusive environment in which learners study that gives them a sense of belonging, and enthusiastic tutors who are supportive and encouraging, with the result that learners are happy at MAES and proud of their achievements.

The report praises leaders, managers and governors who it says are passionate about their provision and promote a culture of compassion and care through an inclusive and ambitious curriculum that is adapted to meet the strategic skills priorities of Manchester and the wider city region.

Inspectors found that most learners make good progress and benefit from high-quality education and training that is informative and varied, delivered by tutors who are well qualified and hold relevant professional qualifications. 

The range of opportunities on offer through MAES for learners to help them develop their personal and social skills was also identified as a positive by inspectors – including speaking clubs for learners on ESOL courses, and enrichment activities including a community football programme and charity work with a local food back for learners with high needs.

Inspectors also praised the support provided to learners to find future employment through a comprehensive career’s strategy across MAES provision, with a large majority of learners progressing on to employment or further learning after finishing their courses.

They noted that as part of the ‘Make it Happen’ careers programme, most learners benefit from careers guidance and opportunities that help them move on to their next steps and to develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to progress in their personal lives, communities, work, and further learning, whilst also developing their communication skills and growing in confidence on their courses.  

Councillor John Hacking Executive Member for Skills, Employment, and Leisure, Manchester City Council, and Chair of Manchester Adult Education Service Board, said:

“We’re very pleased that despite a difficult couple of years through the pandemic for learners and staff alike, the service has been able to maintain its previously Good rating, which is in no small part thanks to the hard work and determination of everyone involved. 

“We already have plans in place to improve the service even further and are excited about what lies ahead for the service and for learners.

“As the cost-of-living crisis bites we’re more determined than ever to do what we can to help people through it, and Manchester Adult Education Service has a key role in this.

“It has a lot to offer that can really help adults of all ages and all abilities to learn and through this to earn.  Whether it’s improving your basic skills in maths or English, upgrading your digital skills, or help with CV writing and interview techniques, there’s lots of support available and who knows – taking a course with MAES could be the start of a bright new future, not just for you but for your whole family.”

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