Quality of teaching, learning and assessment at college is ‘inadequate’, inspectors say

PUBLISHED: 12:34 16 November 2018

Easton and Otley College's latest Ofsted report Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Easton and Otley College's latest Ofsted report Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS


Leaders and managers at Suffolk and Norfolk-based land college Easton and Otley have not improved the poor quality of teaching, learning and assessment on study programmes there, a hard-hitting report concludes.

Easton and Otley College Campus   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEaston and Otley College Campus Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ofsted inspectors, who visited the college, based across two campuses over a four-day period in early October, delivered a damning assessment of the quality of some of its teaching and learning outcomes, concluding that it was ‘inadequate’ - the lowest rating - in five out of eight key areas, rendering it ‘inadequate’ overall. It followed a previous inspection in May 2017 when it was deemed inadequate in six areas.

But college leaders insist huge strides have been made at the college, but it was too early to see these at the time of the inspectors’ visit.

The nine-strong inspection team, headed up by lead inspector Rebecca Clare, did find some positives, rating its apprenticeships and its provision for high needs learners ‘good’. But it concluded overall that “too many students do not achieve their qualifications” on study and adult learning programmes, and too many teachers involved in these “have low expectations of their students and do not challenge them to make good progress”.

“Tasks and activities are often too easy,” inspectors noted. A lack of improvement in maths and English skills was also highlighted, along with low attendance of study programmes and adult learning programmes.

In contrast, it highlighted “high quality, well-co-ordinated specialist support and effective teaching, learning and assessment” for students with high needs. It also highlights the high standard of practical vocational skills fostered among students and apprentices. “As a result, they remain in, or progress to employment or higher levels of education on completion of their courses,” it said.

It praised the “good links” governors, leaders and managers have with local and regional employers, and the design of a bespoke curriculum to meet regional labour markets and skills gaps. Students on study programmes did benefit from “high quality” work experience and enrichment “that prepare them well for employment”, inspectors said.

While the new leadership team and principal had not rectified all the weaknesses identified when the college was rated inadequate last year, “they have put in place clear, detailed and ambitious actions to improve the quality of education from a very low base”, inspectors concluded.

The college believes the inspection came too soon to show the impact of all the changes it has made.

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