A SOUTHAMPTON college has been criticised in a damning report after inspectors found pupils with no pens or paper - while others wore hats and coats throughout lessons.

Inspectors said that Itchen Sixth Form College "requires improvements" across the board, from effectiveness of leadership to quality of teaching and learning.

They said many students do not make enough progress and are not prepared for employment, while adding attendance is too low across several courses.

On behaviour and welfare, the report concluded: "In too many sessions, learners do not arrive ready to work and do not exhibit workplace standards.

"For example, a few learners do not have pens and paper to make notes, and some learners continue to wear hats and coats throughout the lesson."

But it said the college's strengths lie in its "welcoming and inclusive environment"; the 1,400 students at the college have "a sophisticated understanding of the wider issues of living in modern Britain, including the dangers of extremism and radicalisation"; and they take pride in their work.

In their report, inspectors said: "Too few learners undertake work placements or appropriate work-related activities as part of their study programme and as a result are not well prepared for employment.

"Senior leaders and managers have not been effective in monitoring and maintaining the quality of teaching, learning and assessment."

While teachers have high expectations in sociology, creative writing, public services and sport, the report said: "In the large majority of lessons, however, teachers do not plan learning activities well enough to meet the needs and abilities of all learners.

"As a result, too many work on the same tasks, are not challenged sufficiently and do not achieve their learning potential. Teachers do not check the level of learners’ understanding throughout lessons."

It comes just days after the Echo revealed the "shocking" results of an inspection at City College, where principal Sarah Stannard was told by inspectors to improve standards across the board.

Now leaders at Itchen College, on Middle Road, Bitterne, have brought in new management.

Barry Hicks, who retired last year, has now been replaced by Alex Scott, formerly deputy principal at Brockenhurst College.

But at the time of the January 2017 inspection, deputy principal Vanessa Cass stepped up as interim principal.

In a statement, Mr Scott said: "The college is going through an exciting period of transition and development.

“The Ofsted report highlighted many areas in which the college continues to offer excellent provision and current students speak highly of their experience both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Students feel safe at the college and take pride in their written and practical work. The report also stated that we continue to support the local community with our curriculum, which Ofsted described as broad and relevant for our students. This ensures our students leave Itchen Sixth Form College with the skills they need to succeed.

“The college has reviewed the areas where it can do even better and staff have already started to work on the improvements required.

"The college looks forward to continuing our bright future serving the local community and our students, parents and staff members."

Councillor Darren Paffey, Southampton City Council's education chief, said: "My team at SCC has reviewed all inspection reports, and is working on recommendations for ways to work collectively to address various actions (for example, employer engagement, attendance).

"We have been in contact with all three principals, meetings have taken place, and further meetings will happen to take forward joint actions."