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Sector summary

Adult learning in the community


Teaching and learning

What's going well

  • Partnerships continue to offer both in-person and online learning sessions in line with learners’ wishes.
  • Overall, teaching across programme areas is effective and tutors support their learners well.
  • The numbers of ESOL learners are increasing and, where relevant, provision is successful in helping learners adapt to their new lives in Wales.
  • Where partnerships offer personal interest courses, these benefit learners’ well-being in addition to supporting their acquisition of skills and knowledge.

What needs to improve

  • Partnerships do not track and monitor learners’ progress within, across, and on exiting their provision, well enough.
  • Partnerships do not provide enough opportunities for Welsh-speaking learners to participate in learning through the medium of Welsh.

Care, support and well-being

What's going well

  • Providers offer valuable personalised support for learners.
  • Providers focus on promoting healthy lifestyle choices to learners as well as helping learners to understand the importance of equality and diversity.
  • Providers offer meaningful opportunities for learners’ opinions to be heard and to influence provision.
  • Nearly all learners participate enthusiastically and many report benefits to their well-being from engaging in their learning.

What needs to improve

  • In the absence of overarching partnership websites, prospective learners are often unable to easily view the whole of the partnership offer. This means that they cannot always find the courses best suited to their needs or language preference.

Leading and improving

What's going well

  • Partnerships understand the needs of their learners and communities well.
  • In the best examples, partnerships have a clear, shared and well-articulated vision; the partners align their work and resources in support of this effectively.
  • Leaders and managers work together well to ensure that lessons are held at a wide range of easily accessible venues that are conveniently located across different geographical areas.

What needs to improve

  • Where partnership working is not strong, leaders’ arrangements for self-evaluation and quality assurance of provision require improvement.

Overview of recommendations from inspections


Three partnerships were inspected during 2022-2023.


All three partnerships inspected during 2022-2023 received recommendations to improve the tracking and monitoring of learners’ progress.


All three partnerships received a recommendation to embed or increase the Welsh-medium offer within their provision.

Other recommendations focused on the need to provide strategic direction at a partnership level, to improve the marketing of the provision offer, to improve the extent to which learners contribute to self-evaluation, and to implement cross partnership observation and moderation to build shared understanding of the quality of teaching and learning.

Reflective questions

Questions to help providers use knowledge of learner progress and progression to improve their provision and practice:

  • How effectively does the partnership track and monitor learner progress within and across the provision?
  • How well do partners within the partnership share appropriate information about learners’ progression when they move between partners?
  • How well does the partnership capture information about learners’ destinations on exiting the provision?
  • How effectively does knowledge of learners’ progress and destinations, together with insight into the impact of provision, inform provider-level and partnership-level self-evaluation processes?

Effective practice

To read about individual providers that are working effectively in specific aspects of their work, visit our effective practice summary page for 2022-2023