Acting Wiltshire College principal’s pledge after Ofsted slates teaching and results (From This Is Wiltshire)
Acting Wiltshire College principal’s pledge after Ofsted slates teaching and results
Wiltshire College acting principal Amanda Burnside says it will be offering outstanding provision in five years’ time.
She was speaking after Ofsted inspectors ruled Wiltshire College requires improvement.
It is the third successive time the college has been rated a grade three since 2007.
Under previous inspection this meant satisfactory but new guidelines mean Wiltshire College now requires improvement in everything except its English provision, which was ruled a grade four inadequate.
Weeks after the inspection principal Di Dale, who had been in charge for the previous two poor inspections, was said to be taking time off for the rest of the Easter term. She has not returned and Mrs Burnside was appointed acting principal.
The report, following an inspection in March, criticises the college’s teaching, student success rates, apprentice success rates and management.
It said the college requires improvement because: “Students’ success rates remain below average and the rate of increase has not been fast enough, particularly for success rates for adults and at level three.
“Teaching of English is not good enough to ensure students develop their English skills adequately and achieve their qualifications.
“Managers’ use of targets and sharply-focused actions to raise achievement and improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is underdeveloped.
“Apprentices’ success rates have declined over three years and are below average.”
Vice-principal Ben Allen said: “It was not at all unexpected, we self-assessed as grade three. One of the key findings we were very relieved about was that Ofsted agreed that we understand what has to be done, and a lot of it was already in play.
“Apprenticeship schemes have in the last year had a completely new management team and staff trained in new business processes. We can see success rated climbing already and are confident that by the end of the year they will be above average.”
The report said teaching standards were generally poor. “Too many lessons are undemanding and uninspiring, particularly theory lessons. As a result, students lack concentration and do not always grasp important learning points,” it said.
Mrs Burnside said: “Ofsted did see good practice; the key is to share good practice and bring everyone up to the same level, getting that consistency. We will be increasing investment in additional staff development days.
“We want to be good within 18 months and outstanding in five years and I completely believe that that is do-able. Everyone has a new approach when they come in and I am committed to keeping staff informed and they like that.”
Mrs Burnside joined Wiltshire College four months ago, leaving an executive director role at Swindon College, which was rated as outstanding in an inspection in February.
Ofsted praised Wiltshire College for good collaborative work with stakeholders, good promotion of students’ employability skills, safe and welcoming campuses, a wide range of extra-curricular activities and good support for vulnerable students and those with additional learning needs.
Steph Stephenson, director of customer services, said the college will start enrolment earlier.
She said: “We will assess them in English and maths before they arrive so teachers know about any additional needs from day one.”
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