College 'requires improvement' after another poor inspection

Daily Echo: Totton College Totton College

A HAMPSHIRE college that was aiming to be outstanding by next year has again been told by Ofsted that it “requires improvement”.

Totton College has once again been ranked in the second to bottom category by inspectors who said despite significant improvements made since their last visit - not enough was yet being done to rate it as a ‘good’ institution.

Inspectors said that the quality of teaching varied too much within the college – with a minority of lessons described as “dull” – and that some students did not make sufficient progress in core subjects like maths and English.

Despite the overall grade, sports provision was rated as outstanding, with coaching described as “inspirational”

Main findings included:

• Outcomes for students are not yet high enough and need improving. The persistent underperformance of a number of courses and for many adult students requires rapid improvement.

• A significant minority of students do not make expected progress based upon their achievement before coming to college.

• Standards of teaching, learning and assessment vary too much and not enough lessons are consistently good or better.

The report come as a blow to college leaders who were aiming to be considered an ‘outstanding’ college by 2015 and who have overseen a multi-million-pound transformation of the Water Lane campus.

That was the vision of principal Mike Gaston when he came into the job three years ago.

Although not available for comment a statement from Mr Gaston said:”The latest Ofsted report has given us some really strong targets to work towards. I am pleased that they have recognised the significant journey that this college has been on over the past two years.

“However, there is no doubt that we are definitely still on that journey and I am under no illusions that we still have work to do.

“The continual changes we are implementing are working well and I look forward to welcoming back Ofsted next year to see this.”

However, inspectors also acknowledged that significant improvements have been made since their last visit including: l Students gain a good range of personal and social skills which prepare them well for future employment or their next steps in education.

• Support for students who require additional help in their studies is good and they achieve well.

• Students enjoy college and their behaviour throughout all areas of the college is good. A culture of learning, respect, and self-belief now exists in the college.

Comments (5)

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9:24am Tue 25 Mar 14

eurogordi says...

First of all, the Daily Echo is using a photograph of Totton College that is two or three years out of date and does not show the improved facilities and appearance. As several journalists live in Totton to my knowledge, it wouldn't have taken much for one of them to take a new picture!

Secondly, having spoken to some staff and students who were subjected to the recent Ofsted inspectors, questions have to be asked about the way this government quango carries out its inspections - something that was picked up in a BBC report just last week at http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/education-2658
0679

Ofsted seem to have the power to make or break schools and colleges, with an apparent vendetta against New Forest establishments at present, but no one seems to know who it is that inspects Ofsted!!!!!!
First of all, the Daily Echo is using a photograph of Totton College that is two or three years out of date and does not show the improved facilities and appearance. As several journalists live in Totton to my knowledge, it wouldn't have taken much for one of them to take a new picture! Secondly, having spoken to some staff and students who were subjected to the recent Ofsted inspectors, questions have to be asked about the way this government quango carries out its inspections - something that was picked up in a BBC report just last week at http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/education-2658 0679 Ofsted seem to have the power to make or break schools and colleges, with an apparent vendetta against New Forest establishments at present, but no one seems to know who it is that inspects Ofsted!!!!!! eurogordi
  • Score: 3

9:52am Tue 25 Mar 14

Ronnie G says...

I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present.
I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too.
To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views.
I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted).
Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections......
I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present. I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too. To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views. I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted). Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections...... Ronnie G
  • Score: 1

10:59am Tue 25 Mar 14

Graeme Harrison says...

Ronnie G wrote:
I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present.
I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too.
To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views.
I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted).
Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections......
Ah yes, the best way to improve Southampton's largely woeful educational standards is to slate Ofsted and then pretend that all the local schools are doing an amazing job.
[quote][p][bold]Ronnie G[/bold] wrote: I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present. I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too. To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views. I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted). Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections......[/p][/quote]Ah yes, the best way to improve Southampton's largely woeful educational standards is to slate Ofsted and then pretend that all the local schools are doing an amazing job. Graeme Harrison
  • Score: 1

11:27am Tue 25 Mar 14

Ronnie G says...

Graeme Harrison wrote:
Ronnie G wrote:
I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present.
I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too.
To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views.
I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted).
Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections......
Ah yes, the best way to improve Southampton's largely woeful educational standards is to slate Ofsted and then pretend that all the local schools are doing an amazing job.
OFSTED have been a relatively good influence on schools I feel. I did not slate Ofsted.
I said there is a group acting ON BEHALF OF OFSTED. THIS GROUP IS SUPPOSED TO BE INDEPENDENT INSPECTORS.
These inspectors from Tribal Inspections apparently report TO Ofsted.
It is these inspectors who have changed the grading given to schools.
What used to be classed as 'satisfactory' is now to have the new meaning of 'requires improvement'. So what was classed as ok in previous inspections is now not ok?
Sorry but satisfactory is when you are satisfied and requires improvement means you are not satisfied. The two don't go together.
[quote][p][bold]Graeme Harrison[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ronnie G[/bold] wrote: I believe a group calling themselves 'Tribal Inspections' are inspecting schools on 'behalf' of Ofsted at present. I have to admit it all seems rather dodgy and they have their own slightly differently worded version of the Ofsted Report guidelines too. To me these latest batch of inspectors are not acting independently of personal or political views. I think we will be hearing a lot more negative reports on schools in and around Southampton courtesy of Tribal Inspections (appearing to be acting on behalf of Ofsted). Although, I'd much rather hear a bit more about Tribal Inspections......[/p][/quote]Ah yes, the best way to improve Southampton's largely woeful educational standards is to slate Ofsted and then pretend that all the local schools are doing an amazing job.[/p][/quote]OFSTED have been a relatively good influence on schools I feel. I did not slate Ofsted. I said there is a group acting ON BEHALF OF OFSTED. THIS GROUP IS SUPPOSED TO BE INDEPENDENT INSPECTORS. These inspectors from Tribal Inspections apparently report TO Ofsted. It is these inspectors who have changed the grading given to schools. What used to be classed as 'satisfactory' is now to have the new meaning of 'requires improvement'. So what was classed as ok in previous inspections is now not ok? Sorry but satisfactory is when you are satisfied and requires improvement means you are not satisfied. The two don't go together. Ronnie G
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Bonnie.Ellis says...

Mike Gaston shouldn't be the principle of Totton College. He is only interested in the physicalities of the establishment and not the quality of education. Some departments can barely afford the resources to conduct their lesson; whereas, the principle had decided to spend an absurd and unnecessary sum of money on LCD that are displayed in the corridors. Yes, the College needed to be updated but first and foremost, resources and quality of teaching should be their primary focus. In contrast to the Million pound build The art department is literally falling apart and science department seriously needs some new equipment.
Mike Gaston shouldn't be the principle of Totton College. He is only interested in the physicalities of the establishment and not the quality of education. Some departments can barely afford the resources to conduct their lesson; whereas, the principle had decided to spend an absurd and unnecessary sum of money on LCD that are displayed in the corridors. Yes, the College needed to be updated but first and foremost, resources and quality of teaching should be their primary focus. In contrast to the Million pound build The art department is literally falling apart and science department seriously needs some new equipment. Bonnie.Ellis
  • Score: 0

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