Under-fire college still has room to improve, inspectors say
PUBLISHED: 17:29 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:59 14 May 2019
An under-fire college has been told further improvements must be made following its fifth Ofsted visit in 18 months.
Inspectors said leaders at Easton and Otley College had implemented measures to improve the quality and consistency of teaching and boost student outcomes, but there was more work to do to ensure the measures had a positive impact.
Their comments came after a monitoring visit to the college in late March, the first since it was ranked "inadequate" for the second time by Ofsted in November 2018.
The report said the quality of teaching, learning and assessment had been adversely affected by difficulties in recruiting "suitably trained and skilled staff", with courses such as construction, engineering and agriculture being supported by agency staff.
Teachers were said to have higher expectations of students in their practical work than in their classroom-based learning, while lesson planning and teaching were not considered sufficiently challenging for students and assessments were not always used effectively to track their progress.
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Inspectors said catch-up sessions had been put in place to help raise the attainment of current pupils before their exams, while measures taken to improve students' attendance were working, with levels up year on year.
But students' English and maths learning was said to need further improvement and the report listed staffing and timetabling for the subjects as a priority in the new academic year.
Ofsted said the college had committed resources to staff development including the introduction of advanced teaching and learning coaches. Since November it has also bolstered its senior team by appointing two new governors and an interim deputy principal.
Jane Townsend, Easton and Otley College principal, said: "We are making and taking appropriate and suitable actions in terms of all the themes discussed in this report and I am pleased that Ofsted has identified that we have put in place relevant strategies to help demonstrate the positive impact of our work.
"We know that we are good in many areas of our provision at the moment and we are confident that the results of our full inspection later in the year will help prove that our journey towards excellence is being realised."