“Fun” isn’t a word that Ofsted uses lightly. But when the inspectorate published its report on the Redbridge Institute last May, there was no other word that would do.
As the glowing report, which found the provider “outstanding” in all areas and identified no areas for improvement, put it: “Teachers have extremely high expectations of their learners, their enthusiasm to pass on their knowledge to learners is infectious and lessons are fun.”
Read more: Tes FE Awards 2019 winners crowned
Background: Tes FE Awards 2019 open for entries
Deeply embedded in community
Redbridge is deeply embedded in its community – and encourages its learners to be too, with 15 per cent of them engaging in voluntary work. Redbridge Institute works across 47 different settings in the London borough, bringing educational opportunities to those who might otherwise miss out.
Teachers are encouraged to collaborate on improving their techniques, with learners, tutors, managers and governors taking part in a Great Teaching and Learning Conference. This process also involves learners in the discussion: students’ ideas about developing an employability hub and “learner of the month” awards were recently initiated.
Another example of the work this provider does for its local community is the development of the Chill With Your Child programme delivered at primary schools, giving parents the skills to help support their child’s mental wellbeing.
The judges were unanimous in their decision to award overall provider of the year to Redbridge Institute – the first time this accolade has gone to an adult and community learning provider. As the judges put it: “Redbridge Institute has proved you can put the fun back into learning.”