Damning Ofsted report for Wiltshire College

Damning Ofsted report for Wiltshire College

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TEACHING, student success rates and management at Wiltshire College have been criticised following a visit by Ofsted inspectors.

The report has said the college, which has campuses in Salisbury, Trowbridge, Lackham and Chippenham, needs improvement across all areas looked at by inspectors.

Acting principal Amanda Burnside said: “While we are not satisfied with this result, the grade was in line with our own judgement of our position and Ofsted acknowledges this as one of our strengths.

“The report commends the college's 'open and honest self-assessment, leading to the accurate identification of areas for improvement'. “We do have an excellent understanding of what we need to do to improve and a clear plan on how to achieve those improvements quickly.”

The Ofsted inspection was carried out in March and is the third successive time the college has been rated a grade three.

Under previous inspection rules a grade three meant satisfactory but new guidelines have ruled it as requiring improvement across every inspection criteria except its English provision, which was ruled a grade four inadequate.

The inspection report 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 3.”

It said success rates of apprentices have declined and teaching and support is not focused sufficiently on helping students reach their full potential and too many lessons are “undemanding and uninspiring”.

The college was praised for “good collaborative work with stakeholders” a “safe and welcoming campus” and “rigorous self-assessment”.

Students’ success rates are high in agriculture, environmental conservation, transportation operations and maintenance, hairdressing and beauty therapy, hospitality and catering and visual arts.

But they are below average in most other subjects and low in childcare, science, information and communication technology, sports studies, media and business administration.

The report criticised the college management for not acting quickly enough to improve teaching.

It said: “Managers’ actions to improve the quality of teaching and learning have had mixed success and many much-needed actions are recent and not yet fully effective.

“Managers’ judgements about the quality of lessons are over optimistic.”

Helen Birchenough, who became chairman of governors last July, said: “Wiltshire College launched a new five-year strategic plan in September 2013 which places learners at the heart of everything it does and I am confident that we have the plan, resources and passion in place to now deliver the required improvements for our learners.”

Comments (5)

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9:52am Wed 30 Apr 14

karlmarx says...

Four years of budget cuts, under-funding and staff redundancies have taken their toll on higher education in Salisbury. You would have thought it would be wiser to fix what we already have before opening new higher education establishments.
Four years of budget cuts, under-funding and staff redundancies have taken their toll on higher education in Salisbury. You would have thought it would be wiser to fix what we already have before opening new higher education establishments. karlmarx
  • Score: 2

1:35pm Wed 30 Apr 14

salisburysaint says...

Genius quote this, we know we are rubbish and OFSTED agree so that's a plus point...............
........

Acting principal Amanda Burnside said: “While we are not satisfied with this result, the grade was in line with our own judgement of our position and Ofsted acknowledges this as one of our strengths.
Genius quote this, we know we are rubbish and OFSTED agree so that's a plus point............... ........ Acting principal Amanda Burnside said: “While we are not satisfied with this result, the grade was in line with our own judgement of our position and Ofsted acknowledges this as one of our strengths. salisburysaint
  • Score: 9

10:12am Thu 1 May 14

John Wigs says...

Now retired but having served this College for over 25 years part time and full time. We all knew that something drastic would happen to what was a little Gem in Salisbury. It served Student from Andover, Mere and the New Forest.
Its Flagships was the Catering department,Disabled learning, Construction and many more! It slowly lost hold of these areas, indeed the disabled learning came out top on the year I left! The following year it was disbanded! Mis managed, far too many meeting with no real outcomes were the order of the day. Embracing into the Wiltshire College Group under one head and faceless Governors it was bound to fail. It is now time to rip out the bad and start once again.
Now retired but having served this College for over 25 years part time and full time. We all knew that something drastic would happen to what was a little Gem in Salisbury. It served Student from Andover, Mere and the New Forest. Its Flagships was the Catering department,Disabled learning, Construction and many more! It slowly lost hold of these areas, indeed the disabled learning came out top on the year I left! The following year it was disbanded! Mis managed, far too many meeting with no real outcomes were the order of the day. Embracing into the Wiltshire College Group under one head and faceless Governors it was bound to fail. It is now time to rip out the bad and start once again. John Wigs
  • Score: 3

11:11pm Thu 1 May 14

Westbury123 says...

I too worked for the College for some time, I am surprised as Salisbury Saint about the quote that the Colleges judgement matched Ofsted, so that's a plus point! is it ?did they tell that to prospective students or leave them in the dark, like last years returning sixth formers finding out the sixth form provision has been shut shortly before term started.
the College has gone through restructure after restructure, with workers subjected to months of stress to learn whether they would keep their jobs or face a down grade or fail an interview for a job they had been doing for years. whilst top level managers picked up bonuses. If one restructure did not put things on the right track is that not the responsibility of those doing the restructuring? Amanda mentions a five year plan, I have no knowledge of her personally but it is not the first five year plan the College has had. The College motto used to be 'Putting the learner first' REALLY!!!!
I too worked for the College for some time, I am surprised as Salisbury Saint about the quote that the Colleges judgement matched Ofsted, so that's a plus point! is it ?did they tell that to prospective students or leave them in the dark, like last years returning sixth formers finding out the sixth form provision has been shut shortly before term started. the College has gone through restructure after restructure, with workers subjected to months of stress to learn whether they would keep their jobs or face a down grade or fail an interview for a job they had been doing for years. whilst top level managers picked up bonuses. If one restructure did not put things on the right track is that not the responsibility of those doing the restructuring? Amanda mentions a five year plan, I have no knowledge of her personally but it is not the first five year plan the College has had. The College motto used to be 'Putting the learner first' REALLY!!!! Westbury123
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Wed 14 May 14

ferry.ansome says...

Helen Birchenough, who became chairman of governors last July, said: “Wiltshire College launched a new five-year strategic plan in September 2013 which places learners at the heart of everything it does..."

Where did Wiltshire College place its learners previously then?
Helen Birchenough, who became chairman of governors last July, said: “Wiltshire College launched a new five-year strategic plan in September 2013 which places learners at the heart of everything it does..." Where did Wiltshire College place its learners previously then? ferry.ansome
  • Score: 0

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