Popular college praised for 'significant progress' in latest Ofsted visit
PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 January 2020
A college in Essex is back on the right track following a monitoring visit from Ofsted.
Colchester Institute, which as three campuses across Colchester, Braintree and Clacton, was given a 'requires improvement' rating back in November 2018.
Since then, Ofsted inspectors have found that staff have made big steps towards returning to a 'good' grade, with some of the most notable improvements coming to the quality of the education it provides to its 3,600 students and 1,600 apprentices.
Governors were praised for making "swift and effective changes" which inspectors noted were already leading to a higher proportion of students passing their qualifications.
Alison Andreas, principal and chief executive, said: "We are delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted visit which affirms the excellent experience our students receive.
"It is very pleasing, as it follows on from exceptional student results (among the best nationally) in the summer of 2019.
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"Inspectors commented that it is quite rare to receive two 'significant progress' judgements in an inspection of this type."
The institute's new media hub on its Braintree campus, which lets students use high-spec computers, virtual reality software, and a fully-functioning television studio, was also praised by inspectors.
Less extensive but 'reasonable' progress had been made in making changes to course curriculums, and checking students' work, according to the report.
While staff are still ensuring students learn quickly and progress through the work as required, the inspector noted "too few teachers ensure that learners develop their skills in written English".
"As a result, few younger learners on level one and two programmes develop or demonstrate effective written communication skills," the inspector added.
There was also work to be done to ensure more students left the institute with the information they needed to achieve their long-term goals.
"Learners know about formal careers advice available to them through the college," said the inspector.
"However, teachers do not give clear guidance to learners on the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their career goals."