Good rating for Essex college

AN Essex college of further education has received an overall "good" rating according to a report published by Government inspectors.Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) looked at nine curriculum areas during a five-day visit to Braintree College in January and reported a good performance in seven.

AN Essex college of further education has received an overall "good" rating according to a report published by Government inspectors.

Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) looked at nine curriculum areas during a five-day visit to Braintree College in January and reported a good performance in seven.

The rating, which is just below "outstanding", was awarded to science and mathematics; business and management; sport leisure and tourism; health and social care; visual and performance arts; humanities; and English language and communication.

Serving the rural area of Braintree, Halstead and Witham with a population of 132,000, the comprehensive college was praised for its teaching standards and learning environment which contributed towards good exam grades.


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Included in the key strengths identified by the inspectors were its "innovative" student intranet and "an attractive well-maintained and welcoming college environment".

Commenting on the good guidance and support given to students, inspectors said: "Induction and initial assessment are effective and students from local schools benefit. Tutors are approachable and readily accessible."

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In information and communication technology and literacy and numeracy, however, the report noted that standards were simply "satisfactory" and commented upon the poor attendance in some lessons."

College principal Martin Bates said: "We are delighted by the report – in comparison to other education providers it's excellent. It's our third Ofsted report and they've all been good.

"We're also continuing to improve in all areas and have drawn up action plans to tackle our relatively weaker areas. What you have to understand about a college like ours is that students don't really get excited about subjects like literacy and numeracy – they feel it's like going back to school – so they try to avoid it."

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