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.