Barnfield College has been hit with a bruising Ofsted report which states it ‘Requires Improvement’.
The report released last week found that the college offered poor opportunities for apprenticeships and that teachers did not effectively monitor students’ progress, especially those on study programmes.
It stated: “Although improvements have been made in teaching, for example through the observation process ... teaching is not good enough across all subjects.
“In too many instances, teachers fail to challenge learners, in particular the more able, to make good progress and achieve the high standards of work of which they are capable.”
Achievement rates for pupils aged 16 studying GCSE mathematics and English in Luton are described as well below national rates, with the town in the top 20% of most deprived local authorities.
Inspectors added that in order to succeed, the college must ensure high standards of teaching across all areas, improve students’ attendance and punctuality, and urgently improve the quality of apprenticeships on offer.
The college received the worst rating of ‘Inadequate’ for its apprenticeships, although it did receive ‘Good’ ratings for its provision for mature students as well as those with higher needs.
A Barnfield College spokesman stated: “Our top priority is to ensure that our students have a consistently good learning experience so they can fulfil their potential.
“The report highlights many areas of good practice and key strengths including effective safeguarding of students, demonstrable progress of learners indicated by increased achievement rates and good development of learners’ practical vocational skills. This is particularly true around our high-needs and adult provisions, which have been judged as ‘good’.
“The College had already identified the issues that have been highlighted by Ofsted in relation to our apprenticeships provision, and has taken clear and decisive actions, which have resulted in immediate improvement of apprentice outcomes. However, in light of the report, and continuing frustrations by employers to the apprenticeship system, we are reviewing our options.
“Pending a formal decision, we have suspended the recruitment of new apprentices. However, our highly successful Work-based Learning and Day Release provision is continuing to expand as this is better meeting the needs of local employers and communities.”