Ofsted praise as enrolment opens for Idea Store Learning courses

Idea Store Learning ESOL 2

Idea Store learning courses

Tower Hamlets’ Idea Store learning service has received an official Ofsted “good” rating following a two-day inspection carried out at the end of January. As enrolment for the new summer term of courses opens, inspectors have praised the quality of courses and teaching on offer, and how learners are supported to increase their skills across a wide range of subjects.

At the time of the inspection around 1,800 adults were enrolled on courses. Many courses were in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and English and mathematics from entry level and higher. However, a wide range of community learning on offer includes over 900 high quality courses such as digital skills, creative and performing arts, languages, health and fitness, well-being, and including courses for learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said:

“We know that having access to high quality and affordable courses for our residents really does have the potential to transform lives. The most recent census shows that our borough has one of the highest percentages of people who do not communicate with English as a first language. We need to do all we can to break down the barriers that affect our residents’ ability to access employment and vital public services such as health and social care, and allow them to play a full and active role in the wider community.

“The long-lasting benefits of our adult learning courses go beyond the essential opportunities to gain skills and jobs. They include the achievement that comes with learning a new hobby or skill, the social well-being benefits of getting out of the house and making life-long friends, and gaining the confidence to work your way around the internet.”

Ofsted inspectors agreed that Tower Hamlets learners are taught by tutors who expertly adapt what they teach to reflect the context of learners’ lives, which contributes to a high proportion of learners achieving their learning goals. 

Tutors were shown to create positive and safe learning environments in which learners feel confident to take part in discussions and where they are treated with respect. Inspectors say that this leads to learners taking part in a range of activities beyond their main subjects and that they take pride in their achievements, reinforced by a strong culture of celebrating success created by staff.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Maium Talukdar said:

“What a positive endorsement from Ofsted just as we open enrolment for the summer term of new courses. Many congratulations must go to our learners and our thanks and appreciation to our expert tutors and the whole Idea Store learning team and partners who continually strive to provide top quality courses that fit the changing needs of local learners.

“For any resident who thinks that they, a friend or family member could benefit from one of our courses, I encourage you to speak with one of our helpful Idea Store staff members or visit www.ideastore.co.uk/learning for more information or to enrol.”

Idea Store learning summer enrolment is now open for applications with courses due to start from towards the end of April. There’s a huge range of affordable courses on offer at locations across Tower Hamlets, including further discounted courses for households on low incomes. Find out more and get support to apply by visiting one of the borough’s Idea Stores or libraries, or by heading online to www.ideastore.co.uk/learning

Posted on Tuesday 21st March 2023