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Ofsted 16–19 Report

Ofsted 16-19 Report: Council Aims To Raise Standards With Partnership Working

The Council welcomes the publication of the findings of the OFSTED inspection on education and training provision for young people aged 16-19. The inspection took place from 21st January to 1st February, 2002.

There are many positive references in the report. Of particular note is the reference to the high standard of teaching and learning found in St Joseph's RC Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School and South Tyneside College.

A broad range of subjects and courses are available in the school and at college. The management of both of these institutions was found to be good and the report highlighted the effectiveness and their organisation reflected in good student review procedures and other organisational features.

The OFSTED report highlights that the number of young people remaining in full-time education has improved in recent years. In fact the rate has improved by over 10% in the last two years but remains beneath the national average. The Council is determined to work with schools and other agencies to increase the number of young people, particularly boys, progressing to further education.

This priority is reflected in the Council's Education Department Plan and will be a central feature of the planning undertaken in response to the inspection report.

The ambition of the Council is to be as good as the best local education authorities. While South Tyneside schools perform better than those of similar LEAs, achievement at GCSE is lower than the national average. The Council is determined to raise standards of achievement to the national average and beyond.

The Council welcomes the opportunity to work with its partners to address the issues raised in the inspection report. To meet the anticipated increase in the numbers of young people progressing to further education more places and more diverse provision particularly in respect of work placed learning, will be needed.

A start has been made in developing a strategic plan for post 16 education and this report will usefully give further impetus to this process. The Council believes that strategic planning requires effective partnership working. The Council is enthusiastic about exploring new ways of partnership development which will involve all providers and take forward a shared agenda for the development of 14 -19 education.

Councillor Ron Reynolds, Lead Member for Lifelong Learning, said today: "There is much to be positive about in the South Tyneside report. The quality of teaching and learning inspected is a tribute to teachers and lecturers. However, the Council recognises there is much to be done in improving progression rates to further education and to raise levels of achievement."

"The Council is enthusiastic about working in partnership with other organisations to achieve these ends and welcomes the publication of the report as an important contribution to a shared understand of the tasks to be achieved in developing 14 - 19 education and training."


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