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Ofsted Inspection of WEA. 10 th March 2008 Presentation to Inspection Team. The WEA today. A charity and a Specialist Designated Institution (SDI) Covering England and Scotland (inspected separately by HMIe) Nine Regions in England working in their communities and localities

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Ofsted inspection of wea

Ofsted Inspection of WEA

10th March 2008

Presentation to Inspection Team

The wea today
The WEA today

  • A charity and a Specialist Designated Institution (SDI)

  • Covering England and Scotland (inspected separately by HMIe)

  • Nine Regions in England working in their communities and localities

  • Nine Regions working together to deliver the charity’s mission, to plan and drive improvement

The wea today 2
The WEA today (2)

  • 77,008 learners (51% of them new) in 2006-07

  • 28% of enrolments from the most disadvantaged wards in England (IMD)

  • 1753 tutors teaching this week

  • 224 full-time and 185 part-time staff

  • Thousands of volunteers

  • Hundreds of venues, partners and branches

National mission local delivery
National mission, local delivery

  • The WEA is diverse and varied but with a very clear mission, focus and direction

  • Democracy extends from locality through to whole Association – with all the benefits and challenges

  • Our mission, educational strands, policies, management information and networked self-assessment are common

  • The rest is locally and regionally determined (within context of external contract and standards)

Wea and inspection
WEA and inspection

  • 874 Inspector days over last four years!

  • But we recognise (nearly) all of you are new to WEA and Ofsted is new to us

  • Our work is focussed on our educational strands, campaigning, partnership and continuous quality improvement

  • We’ve assessed ourselves as ‘Good’ overall

Wea data
WEA data

  • The WEA returns a full FE ILR return. It uses the LSC Learning Aim Database to code provision

  • Its overall success rates are generated by the LSC out of the ILR return

  • This is the same position as the four London SDIs: City Lit, Mary Ward, Working Men’s College and Morley. It differs from ACL providers

Success rates
Success Rates

  • Overall rates generated through ILR are high – and have been since LSC required combined ILR returns

  • This is caused by high proportion of non-accredited provision

  • Therefore, we don’t rely on overall LSC generated success rates in self assessment judgement

  • We have prioritised improving success rates on all accredited courses and in non-accredited Skills for Life

Self assessment
Self Assessment

  • A continuous process across nine regions

  • Identifying issues and taking improvement actions

  • Working as peers across WEA regions and in external peer review groups as they emerge

  • Consolidated Self Assessment Report is tip of an iceberg of self-assessment and improvement activity

  • Ask about the process in regions you visit

Three educational strands
Three Educational Strands

  • Second Chance to Learn

  • Community Involvement

  • Cultural Studies

    Each one focused on the needs and intentions of learners and potential learners

Curriculum management areas
Curriculum Management Areas

  • The WEA manages its curriculum through Nine Curriculum Management Areas (CMAs)

  • Developed after 2004 ALI Inspection

  • Linked to QCA Sector Subject Areas

Sector subject areas
Sector Subject Areas

  • The WEA uses the standard QCA (Qualification and Curriculum Authority) Sector Subject Area classifications

  • In this inspection it has been agreed that the Ofsted SSA variants will be used to explore WEA provision. These are ‘Community Learning’ (Ofsted addition to SSA 14) and ‘Community Development’ (additional SSA added by Ofsted)

Cross inspection theme
Cross Inspection Theme

  • You will see provision in all three Educational Strands, for example:

    • Skills for Life in the Second Chance to Learn strand

    • Volunteer and learner shaped Arts and Humanities provision in the Cultural Studies Strand

    • Targeted arts or health provision in the Community Involvement strand

  • Community Involvement is a cross inspection theme


  • Provision is very dispersed - lots of driving

  • Each Inspector has a proposed itinerary that should be practical. Let us know if you want to vary from it

  • Please keep appointments arranged with partners

  • Please keep in touch with your regional nominee

  • Go to http://mail.wea.org.uk/inspectors for key documents