OFSTED THE TRUTH!
Having read through the Ofsted report these are the findings that we think will be of most interest to members of staff.
Effectiveness of leadership and management
This is what the inspectors think managers at all levels have failed to do generally. (Not in all cases and not in all areas of the college)
- Senior leaders, managers and governors have not sufficiently addressed the areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection. As a result, the quality of provision has declined.
- Managers do not clearly identify the impact of the actions they have taken. As a result, the quality of provision is not consistently good.
- Managers have not acted to improve weaker subject areas.
- Leaders and managers do not set sufficiently challenging targets through the strategic plan or self-assessment process to help them drive improvements.
- Managers do not undertake a detailed analysis of achievement gaps for different groups (women, disabled, minorities)
This is what the inspectors think about the new management structures.
- Senior leaders have recently rationalised the structure of the management team. Managers are not supported to clarify their roles with teachers and staff.
- Managers do not skilfully manage their teams to improve the quality of provision and the experiences of students.
These two points are possibly the most worrying. Under the new structures, which will shape how things work out in the future, managers do not seem to know what they are supposed to be doing (possibly because the new areas they have been given to manage are impossibly large and unfamiliar) and have been put in a position where they find it difficult, if not impossible, to skilfully manage.
This is what the inspectors think managers should be doing more of.
- Senior leaders and managers do not provide effective professional development for teachers to improve their skills.
- Managers do not ensure that teachers receive feedback or training that improves the quality of their practice.
It’s worth noting that Ofsted use the phrase as a result twice. The inspectors may have many shortcomings but carelessness with language is not one of them. They do really think that management failings have caused the quality of provision to decline.
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
This is what the inspectors think lecturers are failing to do generally (Not in all cases and not in all areas of the college)
- Managers and Teachers do not have high enough expectations for students in terms of academic progress, attendance, punctuality, behaviour and don’t challenge them to improve.
- Most teachers do not plan sessions well enough for students using the information they have on their starting points.
- Teachers do not set or review academic, attendance, punctuality and behaviour targets for students frequently enough.
- Teachers do not sufficiently check students’ understanding.
- Teachers use questions skilfully in a minority of theory sessions to assess students’ prior knowledge and skills.
- Teachers do not check learning sufficiently before moving on to the next topic or task. At times, teachers do not plan activities to improve students’ skills and knowledge.
- Teachers do not sufficiently improve students’ English and mathematics skills
- Teachers do not provide sufficient specific and encouraging feedback to students.Students do not have an in-depth understanding of the risks associated with extremism and radicalisation.
- Teachers and staff do not challenge students’ lateness to sessions.
- The number of students attending external work placements is too low.
It’s worth adding,
- Most students and apprentices enjoy attending their learning programmes.
So, according to the inspectors, the problems are complex and wide-ranging. Draw your own conclusions about what should happen next but don’t believe anyone who suggests the solutions will be straightforward.