“Too much teaching in English and mathematics [by further education providers] is not good enough,” said Ofsted in a recent report. There’s no disputing the crux of this statement; English and maths teaching could be better. You only have to look at last year’s global rankings by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to see that England lies 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy out of 24 nations. And recent GCSE results in the further education sector do little to reassure concerns, with a mere 6.5% of learners achieving a grade C or above in English and 7% in maths.
But these statistics only shine a crude light on what’s happening with young peoples’ basic skills. There are many issues to consider before criticising the sector. Ofsted, let me enlighten you.
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