CALAT Croydon Adult Learning and Training
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CALAT retains GOOD OFSTED rating!

Croydon Adult Learning & Training (CALAT) boasts a welcoming and inclusive environment where those who are aged 19 and over can choose to study from a range of fantastic courses.

Part of Croydon London Borough Council, CALAT offers everything from community learning to vocational and career-based courses ranging from entry-level to level 3, as well as mental health and special education needs and disability support (SEND) for its learners.

It’s therefore no surprise that the education provider’s culture of teamwork and peer support has earned it an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’, which it achieved during its latest inspection in November 2023 and has maintained from its 2016 inspection.

The report highlighted many positive aspects of CALAT, including the fact that it has developed its courses to ‘help a range of community members improve their skills.’

It also acknowledged how learners ‘receive effective support to find work’ so they are ready to progress onto employment once they complete their studies.

Those who enrol to study with CALAT can choose from a range of subjects, such as digital skills, photography, childcare, adult care, Italian, French, bookkeeping and accounting including AAT qualifications, English and maths at GCSE level, and even English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Applicants can choose to earn while they learn and enrol onto an apprenticeship too, and employers can find business training opportunities for their staff.

A smiling woman sitting at a desk.

CALAT delivers courses in a face-to-face environment, either in the community or across its three centres which are located at Clockwork Tower in central Croydon, Strand House in Thornton Heath, and the New Addington Library, with some online courses available as well.

Teaching is timetabled throughout the week, including across evenings and weekends so learners can study flexibly around their work and family commitments.

Praise for CALAT

Findings from a recent learner survey* found that:

  • 95% of learners were positive or very positive that CALAT met their needs.
  • 92% of learners were positive or very positive that the courses they attend prepare them for progression into further learning or working.
  • 92% of learners were positive or very positive that they had good access to resources.
  • 96% of learners were positive or very positive that CALAT is a safe environment.
  • 100% of learners would recommend CALAT to other people.

*Survey conducted by Ofsted, involving CALAT learners.

Helping learners secure future success

Feedback from inspectors during its last Ofsted inspection praised CALAT’s ambitious offering that supports learner aspirations, and the fact that the education provider places particular emphasis on those who are furthest away from education and work.

This often means helping individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds get a second chance at education, and career success too.

CALAT does this by providing access to the national career service, in the form of a career advisor who visits its centres every fortnight to schedule one-to-one meetings with learners.

All of the provider’s tutors are also trained in providing advice and guidance to their learners in terms of their progression opportunities.

But that’s not all, CALAT works very closely with the Croydon Works job service too, and regularly makes its learners aware of the job vacancies available to them as well as the courses that are being run specifically on behalf of employers.

In particular, Ofsted praised the provider’s ability to ‘identify and prepare learners for employment’, by giving them access to opportunities such as interview practice and CV-writing classes.

People sitting at desks in a class

Valuable community support

CALAT focuses primarily on helping adults get back into education and step into a professional role by securing the right qualifications.

However, it also helps its learners to build their confidence and good mental health, and it promotes healthy lifestyles and social integration too.

In particular, Ofsted highlighted that CALAT’s learners and apprentices ‘greatly improve their confidence and independence’, and are therefore ‘able to participate in their local communities and make life choices autonomously.’

For example, those who are on independent living courses are taught how to prepare nutritious meals and the basics of budgeting, and those on ESOL courses learn how to join local libraries and make doctor’s appointments.

The provider offers family learning too, for parents who want to help their children through school and support them with their English and maths. This support is also tailored to tackle issues such as challenging behaviour and bullying, to promote mindfulness and good mental health among young people.