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Standards in education and training for 16 or 19-year-olds need attention


Education and training for 16 to 19-year-olds in the Salford, Derby, Barking and Dagenham needs urgent attention to raise standards, says Education and Employment Minister Tessa Blackstone.

Her statement comes as OFSTED, together with the Training Standards Council and the Further Education Funding Council Inspectorate publish inspection reports for all three areas, highlighting some key improvements that have already taken place, but calling for action plans to be put together to push for higher standards and keep the interests of students at the centre of things.

Blackstone is looking for responses to the reports from key partners, such as schools and careers services, to be with local Learning and Skills Councils by the end of March. The newly-appointed Young Person's Learning Committee will also have a part to play in putting together the action plans.

Tessa Blackstone said: "These reports highlight some good practice and high standards in all three inspection areas. There is evidence that initiatives to bring about improvements are beginning to have an impact. For example, in Barking and Dagenham there has been a significant improvement in staying on rates and participation in work based training is above the regional and national averages; in Derby, completion rates for A-levels in schools with sixth forms are good and at colleges, performance in VA-levels and GNVQ programmes are above the sector norms; and in Salford, all providers provide good pastoral support on post 16 programmes, a range of successful strategies have been developed to encourage a greater number of young people to continue in post 16 education. However, these reports also show that there is a need for concerted action to raise standards. We need to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to secure the highest standards for young people in these areas."

The three OFSTED 16-19 Area Inspection reports on Dagenham and Barking, City of Derby and Salford are available on the OFSTED website at


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