Inspection finds College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn ‘requires improvement’

The University Centre at the College of West Anglia which was opened in September last year.
The University Centre at the College of West Anglia which was opened in September last year.

The College of West Anglia, based in Lynn, has been told that it ‘requires improvement’ after the number of students successfully completing courses has declined.

Inpsectors visited the college on Tennyson Avenue in January and said that “too much” teaching, learning and assessment across a variety of programmes needed to get better.

In its previous Ofsted report, the campus was rated as ‘good’, but officials have now said more needs to be done to challenge pupils.

The college was rated as ‘requires improvement’ in six key areas, but ‘outstanding’ for its work on apprenticeships.

Regarding apprenticeships, the report states: “The majority of teachers enable learners studying subjects such as catering, motor vehicle, engineering and animal care to develop their industry-specific practical skills well.”

It goes on to say: “Employers speak highly of the added value their apprentices provide to their businesses. Almost all apprentices remain in sustainable emloyment on completion of their programme.”

But the college has been told that more needs to be done regarding planning to meet the students’ needs; to set demanding targets to improve work standards; and for leaders and managers to improve “weak” provision.

Other reasons it requires improvement are because: too many learners do not improve their English and mathematics skills; students’ attendance has improved from previous years but is low in too many subjects; leaders do not ensure that self-assessment is sufficiently rigorous; and they do not collect and use progress data to help raise standards and drive improvements.

Principal David Pomfret said: “It is disappointing to have received an overall grade of ‘requires improvement’. However, although there are some clear indicators about where we need to do better, there are some very positive messages in the report and I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised the quality of our outstanding apprenticeship provision.

“At a time when the government has prioritised growth in apprenticeships for young people and adults, this ‘outstanding’ rating underlines CWA’s position as the market leader in West Norfolk and Fenland.

“In terms of the areas identified for improvement, it is an ongoing challenge to ensure consistency of quality across an organisation of our size with such a diverse range of courses. However, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that all our learners are given the same opportunities to learn effectively and develop their skills to the levels seen by inspectors in some of our higher-performing curriculum areas.

“We are already taking steps to address the challenge of eradicating inconsistencies in the quality of teaching across the breadth of our curriculum and are developing a detailed action plan to help teachers support learners with the theory aspects of their course and to achieve better results in maths and English.

“I am confident that, with the support of our dedicated and talented staff team, we will deliver the improvements required and return CWA to a ‘good’ Ofsted grading at the earliest opportunity.”