This month….

Ofsted – Congratulations and thanks!!

Resources from our Embedding British Values and RARPA CPD sessions.


As you know our long-awaited Ofsted inspection took place on 27-28th February, and the report was published on 20th March.  We are very pleased that our provision was judged to be “Good”, as it was when we were previously inspected at the end of 2012.

You can access the report letter here:

Inspectors judged that the Council has a clear vision and that the strategy has been effective at reaching the most disadvantaged residents and those with the highest needs. Our relationships with the sub-contracted providers are judged to be productive, outcomes for learners are good and safeguarding is effective.

Most pleasingly for us as teachers, the inspectors visited a range of sessions across the county including Codsall, Burton, Stafford, Stone and they were impressed by what they saw.

“Lessons are lively and engaging. Teachers prepare learning sessions well and make good use of a wide range of accessible and well-designed learning resources and materials. Teachers are well qualified and have appropriately high expectations of their learners, regardless of educational attainment, or social or cultural heritage. As a result, learners make good progress and achieve their learning objectives.”

The development of learners’ English and mathematics is good, including good CPD provision. Tutors use ILPs well and learners are clear about the progress they are making and learners receive good written feedback.  Tutors plan sessions well to engage and motivate learners; resources and learners’ practical work are of a good standard.

In a very few classes however, teachers do not consistently provide sufficient challenge to most-able learners, resulting in these learners becoming de-motivated.

The recommendations to the service as to how to improve were few, and were on issues we feel are approachable. The recommendations for Teaching and Learning where we will need your support are:

  • Ensure that all learners receive clear and relevant individualised targets which should be regularly monitored, so that they have a better understanding of their progress and
  • Ensure teachers provide sufficiently challenging activities for the most able learners in their classes, so that these learners continue to remain engaged and motivated to learn.

So this involves:

  1. talking to learners about their ILPs and the targets that you should negotiate together to ensure that all learners understand the relevance.
  2. Ensuring that you are aware of the more able learners in your groups and that you are challenging them to extend their learning activities to allow them to reach their full potential.I am sure you will agree that these recommendations are achievable.

We encourage all tutors to now take the time to evaluate your own practice in these areas, perhaps supported by your most recent class visit or observation report, and to consider how you can contribute to these recommendations – whether this is sharing your already-good practice, or by increasing your focus on these aspects of your teaching.Many thanks to everyone for your support during the inspection, whether you were observed or not.

British Values and Embedded RARPA – CPD session (delivered 15th and 28th February 2017)

You’ll be glad to know that Amanda and I were also observed by the Ofsted inspector, delivering the CPD session on RARPA and British Values – luckily, our learners (tutors!!) were very well-behaved and engaged well in the session, and the inspector gave us some positive feedback!

Materials have already been sent out to those who attended the session, so that they can be cascaded to colleagues, but I am going to summarise the session here, so that everyone can catch up on this important topic.

Prevent and British Values in practice RARPA Booklet

RARPA Booklet

To prepare for the session we asked tutors to complete some NEW e-learning which is FREE and has been developed by HM Government following consultation with a range of individuals and organisations. 

The e-learning offers an introduction to the Prevent duty, and explains how it aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being radicalised to supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. It will also provide an important foundation on which to develop further knowledge around the risks of radicalisation and the role that you can play in supporting those at risk.  

The training takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and you will be able to save or print your certificate.  ACL tutors who have completed this commented on how much better it was than the original Prevent Duty e-learning modules issued on 2015, so we would encourage everyone to access these new materials.  The training can be accessed on the following link:


The key outcomes of the session were to:

  1. State some themes/topics of learning and identify where British values can naturally be embedded.
  2. Revisit the 5 stages of RARPA to refresh current knowledge, understanding and application.
  3. Discuss any identified challenges to embedding RARPA and identify solutions to ensure practice is purposeful to planning and learners needs.
  4. Discuss a range of RARPA techniques and tools and how they would work in practice (and further ideas).

RARPA – the 5-stage process of Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement

  1. Learners are clear about the aims and outcomes of the course.
  2. Learners are ‘initially assessed’ so the tutor understands their starting points, level and motivation and can adapt their teaching accordingly.
  3. They have challenging individual objectives/goals which are renegotiated and reviewed during the course.
  4. Their progress is monitored and recorded and they receive constructive feedback so they know how they can improve (formative assessment).
  5. They recognise which outcomes they have achieved at the end of the course and their success is celebrated (summative assessment).

The tutors who attended the CPD sessions identified the main challenges to embedding RARPA.  We discussed some solutions and in fact modelled some solutions in the session we delivered.  These are some highlights:


Challenges in delivering a course using RARPA

Suggestions from CPD session
How to do initial assessment?


Accuracy of self-assessment – learners don’t always grade themselves in the same way as the tutor would!

Use Post-it notes or other informal methods to gather initial thoughts from learners, and to break down the form-filling.

Learners can rate their confidence with the course outcomes but be aware of learners being over- or under-confident! Your judgement as a tutor is important.

Questions about learner’s specific experience of doing things often gives a better picture.

It doesn’t need to be a formal assessment, but you should make a notes on your group profile of what the activity has told you about how

Good practice example: Forest of Mercia run craft courses and use an origami activity on the first session as it gives them a good opportunity to observe learners working with written instructions and maths concepts.

Learners understanding the purpose/reason for RARPA




Learners won’t necessarily understand how an individual learning plan contributes to their progress, but as a tutor you should understand – it’s about the dialogue to find out what the learner wants and needs on the course, setting targets and working towards them, with specific feedback from a tutor to help the learner to make progress. And of course celebrating that achievement at the end of the course. As a tutor you need to communicate this to the learners – explain to them why you need to know their starting points and support needs, explain to them why it is helpful to have a target.
Learner resistance to form filling


The form/process needs to be designed to meet the learners’ needs/format of the course

We have provided a range of different formats now, and developed a range of more “bespoke” ILP formats for different group together with tutors/providers. You can use a different format as long as you have evidence from all 5 stages of RARPA – evidence could be photos, sound recordings, comments on post-its, checklists…


You can use the standard formats provided on our website, but if you take the time to adapt it to your courses, it is often worth the effort, as learners better understand how it is relevant to their progress.

How to evidence informal assessment? Traffic lights / smiley faces / ratings / get learners to write a quiz for each other / 2 stars and a wish – peer feedback / class blog using padlet / simple chart or markbook with tutor notes / outcomes star or bull’s eye ….lots of ways to do this, see the CPD session booklet below.
Group management/Time difficulty in getting round to speak to all learners individually and proving written comments for all learners It seems to be quicker if you make your notes straight after the session rather than sitting down on a separate occasion.


If your session involved some learner-focused tasks (rather than tutor-led) this should give you time in the session to speak to individuals.


Or you could get learners to record your feedback during the session, ie they write a sentence along the lines of “Today my tutor said that …my work was good, and I gave clear answers, but that I need to check spellings on the glossary”.


British Values

  • Doing democracy
  • Doing the rule of law
  • Doing individual liberty
  • Doing mutual respect and tolerance



Embed this approach into your delivery style (use resources which demonstrate respect and tolerance, set up your course and activities in a democratic way, negotiate some class ground rules, allow learners to express some choices and individual liberty in their learning and assessment activities) and you’ll develop learners who are empowered to take more responsibility for their own learning and who are more intrinsically motivated to achieve their potential.

How do you evidence embedding the delivery of British Values and Prevent?

It’s simple and not very time-consuming!

  • Add a symbol to your Scheme of Work and Lesson Plan, E.g (BV)


  • Reflect on the session and capture evidence of British Values covered within the session

The 20-page booklet attached above describes a wide range of activities, either ways of doing British Values in the running of your course, or a variety of subject-specific learning activities that give you the opportunity to embed British Values in your course in a natural way, with it being shoe-horned in.

We’d love to know which if these ideas you are using and how they work for you and your learners. Please use the comment box at the bottom of the page to share your ideas and feedback with us.


2 thoughts on “Spring update

  1. Hi- I would also like to congratulate you all on the outcome from the inspection – so glad to see that your learners are still getting really good quality teaching. Really pleased for you.


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