Ofsted has praised the council’s adult learning service and the way it works with Bolton College and other partners.
The council’s provision has been graded as ‘good’, and the inspector’s report comments that its community provision is ‘excellent’.
The service is run by the council who contract Bolton College to provide the courses. The council uses community learning ambassadors to attract adults to take up courses and the inspectors praised them as “powerful and positive role models showing the impact of learning and its life-changing potential”. The inspectors found that learners successfully improve their economic and social outlook.
Staff and community learning ambassadors work together with providers across the borough. They have developed projects to target hard-to-reach groups through family and children’s self-help groups and events. One local community event alone generated 250 enrolments on to learning courses.
Margaret Kay was a single mum, who now has two grown up daughters and is a grandmother. She was encouraged to take short courses at the college.
Through the knowledge she gained she wanted to do something for her community. She applied for funding to start up a parent and child after school club at the New Bury Centre which opened last year. The club has gone from strength to strength and she provides activities for children and parents as well as trips out and parties at Christmas and other occasions.
The inspectors also praised the commitment to making sure that the provision contributes successfully to the council and local strategic partnership priorities.