Ofsted criticises City of Bristol College over ‘slow progress’ on apprenticeship improvements

Insufficient progress had been made in improving the quality of teaching and training for apprentices within building and construction
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A Bristol college has been told it still ‘requires improvement’ after concerns were raised about the quality of teaching and training for students enrolled on building and construction apprenticeships.

Oftsed inspectors carried out a monitoring visit at the City of Bristol College in December after the college was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ in 2017 and again in 2019.

Their report found that while ‘reasonable progress’ had been in four out of five areas of concern, ‘insufficient progress’ had been made in improving the quality of teaching and training for apprentices within building and construction.

“Leaders have been too slow to bring about the required improvements within apprenticeships,” it reads.

“A minority of teachers do not have the relevant qualifications or necessary skills to ensure that teaching is of high quality.

“Managers have recently introduced a new coaching process to support teachers within apprenticeships to improve their teaching skills.

“However, the impact of such changes cannot yet be seen.”

The report also found that managers and lecturers did not plan enough with employers on applying new knowledge in the workplace, and that apprentices experienced a frequent change of assessors which resulted in ‘disjointed learning’.

But ‘reasonable progress’ was found to have been made in four other areas of concern.

These were mathematics skills provision for apprentices, supporting teachers to develop their skills, improvements to quality of education for learners studying Level 3 business studies and effectiveness of governors scrutinising information provided by senior leaders.

Despite the concerns over apprenticeships, a college spokesperson said that the college’s journey to ‘Ofsted good’ continues.

They added: “In a recent Ofsted monitoring visit, the College was judged to be making reasonable progress, with the actions we have taken since our last inspection already having a beneficial impact on learners, in four of the five areas that they considered.

“This visit was very helpful in reassuring us that we are focussing on the right strategies and we are confident in our prospects.

“We enjoy great relationships with many local employers and are working closely in partnership with them at all times to improve the learner experience.”

If a school or college is rated ‘requires improvement’, there will be a full inspection within 30 months, according to the Ofsted website.

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