Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester Adult Education Service (MAES) update

Report of the Head of MAES attached


This report provides an update on MAES 2018/19 performance and 2019/20 improvement actions to include an update on the Manchester ESOL strategy.


The Committee considered the report of the Head of Adult Education Service that provided information on MAES 2018/19 performance and 2019/20 improvement actions to include an update on the Manchester ESOL strategy.


The Head of Adult Education Service referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -


·                Providing a background and description of MAES;

·                Describing the 2018/19 funding and provision;

·                Providing an update on the Manchester ESOL strategy;

·                Providing information on the take up of MAES;

·                Information on the MAES Self-assessment and Improvement Plan;

·                Information on the MAES self-assessment 2018/19;

·                Describing the effectiveness of Leadership and Management;

·                Information on the quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment;

·                A breakdown on the outcomes of learners;

·                Information on destinations and how this data was collected; and

·                Information on the MAES Improvement Plan 2019/20.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·                Concern was raised in relation to the volume of people who were still waiting to access ESOL courses;

·                More information was requested on the pilot project for higher level professionals as part of the priority to develop targeted provision for underrepresented groups;

·                What comparisons could be made to the outcomes of the ESOL for Work programme to put these in to context;

·                How were the library locations for the 10 free Read and Feed workshops determined;

·                Context was sought on learners on benefits at the start of the programme, were sustained employment rate had decreased from 35% to 27%; and

·                Under the new inspection framework, what would be the biggest challenge in terms of the changes the framework had brought to the sector.


The Committee was advised that in terms of unmet need for ESOL, 39% of those wishing to access courses had been placed into spaces in classes across the city since September 2019, which was a higher proportion than what would normally be placed.  It was also reported that a piece of work would be undertaken with Manchester College to identify the average number of learners per class to see if there was the ability to move resources around in order to provide additional places for those still waiting.


It was explained that work had taken place with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to identify what leaners with professional qualifications from other countries would need to obtain positions within PWC which had resulted in a paid placement scheme for ESOL learners being developed.  Subsequently a course was developed in conjunction with PWC and mock interviews were undertaken with the learners.  Those that were successful had their CV’s passed on to PWC for consideration on the placement scheme.


The Head of Adult Education Service advised that Manchester’s ESOL performance compared very favourably to other local authority providers and had very good achievement rates as well as destination rates in comparison to other core cities.  It was acknowledged that there were still too many people going into part time employment.


The Exec Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure commented that MAES exemplified the Our Manchester approach in delivering much needed services for Manchester residents in light of limited budgets.


The Head of Adult Education Service advised that the library locations for the Read and Feed workshops were determined based on the areas of highest deprivation across the city.  The Committee was advised that the cohort of leaners had changed over the years and now more learners were in work whist studying which had resulted in a reduction in the figures of learners on benefit.


In terms of the new inspection framework, it was reported that the changes focussed on intent and impact which now enabled to track the journey of the learner.  This had resulted in changes to the improvement plan format to track how staff actions complemented the learners journey.  The biggest challenge was considered to be persuading potential funders and employers around the wider value of learning and its positive impact.




The Committee notes the report.

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