College gets damning Ofsted report

AN agricultural college in Essex has received a damning report from Ofsted inspectors criticising the quality of teaching, leadership and management at the site.

Elliot Furniss

AN agricultural college in Essex has received a damning report from Ofsted inspectors criticising the quality of teaching, leadership and management at the site.

Writtle College, near Chelmsford, which specialises in horticulture and animal care courses, has appointed a new head of further education and restructured its management team in response to the scathing verdict.

A college spokesman said it was taking a “robust approach” to dealing with the many criticisms contained in the inspection report that rated its performance as “inadequate” in six out of 10 categories.


You may also want to watch:


Inspectors handed out the poor grading to the college for its effectiveness of provision, achievements and standards, quality of provision and leadership and management.

They also noted that the college was underperforming in its provision of two key specialist subjects; horticulture and floristry and animal care and veterinary nursing.

Most Read

In their report, inspectors said: “The overall effectiveness of further education is inadequate, in contrast to the college's judgement of satisfactory.

“The college has recently undergone a period of significant change under new leadership. Many resulting actions have not yet impacted, although positive signs are emerging.”

It was also highlighted that lesson planning at the college was “weak” and plans were often just lists of tasks that failed to ensure learning objectives were met.

However, inspectors did note that the college's new governing body was “determined” to improve the quality of provision and “significant and much-needed” action to improve students' achievement and standards had recently taken place.

A college spokesman said the criticisms in the report had been acknowledged and accepted and it was willing to take a “robust approach” regarding its further education provision.

It is also set to embark on an ambitious £30million rebuilding programme to regenerate parts of the college that inspectors claimed were in need of renovation.

The spokesman said: “The academic success of our students has always been our primary focus and if we are successful in securing these funds, we will create a 21st century learning environment for our students.

“The college has also taken positive actions to make improvements to the curriculum and the student experience.

“A restructuring of the management of the further education departments will ensure students continue to receive the very best teaching and support to enable them to progress to study for a higher qualification or find suitable employment.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus