Ofsted says college rated inadequate in 2017 is making progress across all areas

Easton and Otley College. Photo : Steve Adams

Easton and Otley College. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Education watchdogs say a college rated inadequate last year has made progress across all areas 12 months on.

Jane Townsend, principal of Easton and Otley College. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jane Townsend, principal of Easton and Otley College. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Easton and Otley College, which has almost 4,000 students across its two campuses, was told it was inadequate by Ofsted last July.

Since then, inspectors have carried out two monitoring visits, with the last in March showing more work was needed.

Now, a third follow-up visit on May 3, has painted a more positive picture.

Inspectors found that 'reasonable progress' had been made in areas such as student behaviour, apprentice training and the general quality of teaching.

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However, inspectors noted there was still room for improvement.

The report, published on May 30, said 'much stronger' leadership ensures teachers are now clear about being held accountable for the progress of their students.

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But it added that the quality of teaching across different subjects continued to vary, stating that 'not enough is good or better'.

The report said: 'Too many teachers focus solely on ensuring that their learners meet the minimum expectation of their qualifications and do not challenge learners to extend their higher-level thinking skills.

'As a consequence, many of the most able learners do not make the progress of which they are capable and few excel.'

The report said more students now attend their lessons frequently and on time thanks to monitoring and incentive schemes.

However, inspectors found some teachers continue to finish their lessons early, leading to students talking loudly in corridors and disrupting other lessons.

The report said 'significant progress' had been made in regard to safeguarding, and the quality of teaching for students with high needs.

Jane Townsend, college principal, said: 'This report was a tremendous boost and proves that the strategy that we have put in place is working.

'Our finances are under control, we are living within our means, we are embarking on an ambitious programme of student recruitment, our commercial focus has been revitalised, we have vastly improved links with business partners who are investing in our future and Ofsted has just given us the best report we have had for over five years.'

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