Moulton labelled 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors again...but disapppointed college says rating 'does not reflect progress'

One of the largest colleges in the county has failed to shake its 'inadequate' rating despite being given a year to make improvements.

Moulton College has remained inadequate following its latest inspection.
Moulton College has remained inadequate following its latest inspection.

Though Moulton College has undergone a significant staff turnover since its last inspection in April 2018, Ofsted says the new leadership team in place has failed to 'secure the rapid improvements required'.

In fact, the inspectors say the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has declined since the last inspection - though previous fears over the safety of pupils there has been tightened up.

The college, in response, says it is disappointed with the recent Ofsted report, which it says does not reflect the progress made over the last 12 months and that further changes have already been put in place.

Moulton College has remained inadequate following its latest inspection.

The watchdog report, released today, says the school is particularly failing in English and maths. Too many pupils fail to attend lessons and too many do not pass exams, in part, because the lessons are not challenging enough, Ofsted says.

"Teachers’ feedback is frequently too positive, superficial and imprecise," reads the report.

"As a result, students do not understand how to improve their performance."

Moulton College - which provides apprenticeship, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to around 5,000 students - was previously ranked as 'requires improvement' in a 2016 inspection before falling to 'inadequate', the lowest possible rating, last year.

Alongside traditional subjects, it also caters for a range of vocational courses geared to the world of work such as bricklaying, plumbing and equine studies.

The inspectors picked out several areas that had not improved since last year's report.

For example, not all staff in animal care and equine studies had a strong enough grasp of their subject could not "relate theoretical concepts to practical situations well enough."

General classroom attendance was seen as too low and 'low-level misbehaviour' was noted in sports and plumbing classes.

However, there were some positives to be taken from the inspection, which was carried out during April.

Expertise on the governing board has improved - while students' behaviour around the campus had also improved 'significantly'.

The adult learning courses were seen as a real strong point for the college, which has a base at Higham Ferrers.

"Students on distance learning programmes and those on stonemasonry, sports massage, floristry and furniture making courses benefit from high-quality teaching and make good progress in developing their skills and knowledge," the inspectors said.

A spokeswoman for the college said that a new management team, led by interim principal Ann Turner, was seeking to address the areas in need of improvement.

She said: "Moulton College were disappointed with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection, which does not reflect the significant progress made in the last 12 months.

"The college is pleased to see that the enhanced board of governors, new leadership team, the change in culture, the high priority placed on ensuring students are safe with very effective, strengthened safeguarding practices, good student behaviour and improved staff morale are all acknowledged.

"The work on improving teaching and learning has still to have the impact desired, but improvements are ongoing to ensure that every Moulton student receives the best possible student experience.

"The college has radically overhauled its workforce in the past year. Governors are confident that we have a stable, passionate committed workforce that is constantly developing to improve the teaching, learning and student experience within a supportive, caring environment utilising excellent resources."

The spokeswoman said that 93 per cent of students move into employment or progress academically on leaving the college.

The newly appointed principal and chief executive, Corrie Harris, will take up post on July 1.