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MORE PLANNING TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE STANDARDS FOR 16-19 YEAR-OLDS IN BRISTOL

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An OFSTED report, published today in conjunction with the Learning ...
An OFSTED report, published today in conjunction with the Learning

and Skills Council says much of the teaching in Bristol school sixth

forms, colleges and work-based training is good. However, the low

aspirations of potential learners in some areas of the city need

addressing directly, if the proportion of young people aged 16 to 19

in education and training is to increase.

Pass rates at GCSE in Bristol schools are low; hence the foundation

for post-16 achievement is poor. Although there is a broad range of

courses on offer for learners aged 16 to 19 in Bristol, individual

choices are limited in some locations and institutions. Overall

achievement at advanced level is below average, particularly in small

school sixth forms. Pass rates at most levels in colleges are

generally average or above. Other findings include:

- there are good specialist resources for teaching and training

- working relationships between teachers and learners are largely

good, but targets need refinement

- progression rates to high education from colleges and LEA schools

are about average

- much of the post-16 provision is effectively managed

- the costs of educating students vary widely between sixth forms

Issues for attention include:

- ensuring effective collaboration between schools and colleges

- improvement proposals to increase size and achievement of school

sixth forms

- ensuring students' choices are well-informed

- providing teaching which attends to the full range of abilities in

each class

Following extensive consultation, the local education authority (LEA)

is to re-organise school sixth forms. Colleges are collaborating

with schools to develop the re- organisation proposals. The report

says that if plans to raise standards are to succeed, a fuller

statistical picture of the likely needs of learners in each area is

required.

Quality assurance procedures in some providers are inadequate, but

inspectors find it encouraging that the LSC, the LEA and the

Connexions service are working closely and productively on strategic

planning and quality improvement. The local LSC is well positioned to

lead the development of more comprehensive and detailed post-16 plans

in conjunction with the LEA's work so far.

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