Ofsted Annual Report
The Ofsted Annual Report is published in an interactive format, and there is an accompanying video which includes the learning and skills highlights of the report. There are also interesting key findings about literacy and numeracy.
Overall, the provision of literacy, numeracy and language support relies too much on teachers and assessors who lack the specialist expertise to make a significant improvement in learners' understanding and skills development. In vocational provision, learners' literacy, numeracy and language needs are not being adequately identified or supported. Too often, literacy and numeracy skills are not
sufficiently assessed on entry or met as an integral part of the main learning that students undertake. Weak target-setting remains a significant area for improvement in all types of provision.
Ofsted found that providers were most effective in meeting learners' development needs in numeracy when they had a clear management strategy to ensure that numeracy was a compulsory component in all vocational courses up to and including level 2. In the most successful provision, learners developed their understanding of underlying mathematical concepts through practical and vocational
applications; they said that they could see how numeracy related to their careers or everyday lives and were motivated to put in the effort needed to become more adept at tasks they had previously preferred to avoid. In contrast, in the majority of the provision judged to be no better than satisfactory, classroom practice and resources focused primarily on disparate topics that were required for external
tests. Individual learning plans failed to identify clear learning goals that related to the learners' personal aims and career or employment goals.
In literacy, Ofsted found that the most successful sessions were those where teachers drew on learners' experiences and ensured that learning activities were closely related to language used in everyday work and social settings. For learners with foundation language development needs, there were few instances of systematic phonics teaching in colleges and work-based learning providers, despite the fact that, for learners without a grasp of the link between sounds and letters, this knowledge is necessary to develop their literacy.
Learners were motivated by working towards qualifications in literacy. However, the National Tests of Literacy at levels 1 and 2, the nationally recognised assessments for adult literacy learning, did not assess writing skills sufficiently. In five of the 22 colleges or other providers of adult education and training visited learners were working towards outcomes that did not provide a suitable level of
challenge. In these cases qualifications were being worked for at the same level as, or lower than, qualifications which learners had already achieved, often in response to the entry requirements of further education programmes.
To read the report in full, visit the Ofsted website