Hartlepool college students ‘failed’ by staff member still get university places

Hartlepool Sixth Form College.
Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

COLLEGE art students who were “failed” by a member of staff who produced below-standard work overcame the disruption to secure spots at their first-choice universities.

Earlier this month the Mail told how a member of staff at Hartlepool Sixth Form College left by mutual agreement after he “misunderstood the standards expected and failed to guide the students appropriately”.

College bosses were left to write to universities on the students’ behalf to explain why their work was not as good as it should have been, and to plead they are given some leeway when deciding whether to award them a place.

But after A-level results were distributed last week, Hartlepool Sixth Form College bosses revealed that with one offer to be confirmed, nearly all art students have gained a place at their first choice university or college.

Carole Horseman, acting principal, said: “I’m delighted to report that we have a 100 per cent pass rate in A2 art and with one result to come, that 95 per cent of our art students will progress onto their first choice.

“Naturally the college is always seeking to improve the service it gives to students, but by declaring all the issues experienced by some students to admission tutors, we have secured first class progression routes for them.

“It was a nerve wracking time for some students and their parents and I can assure everyone concerned that we will continue to support these students should they need further help in the future.”

Mrs Horseman said the art students have been awarded places at a variety of universities to study everything from architecture at the University of Newcastle to costume design at Cleveland College of Art and Design.

After it emerged about the member of staff leaving the college due to the issues, assistant principal Ken Horseman, admitted the below-par teaching had a “serious impact on the quality of the students’ work”.

A total of 22 students on the course were encouraged to produce work using media they were unfamiliar with or which did not reflect their strengths.

But Mrs Horseman told the Mail at the time: “

“The new term will see a full team of talented and experienc ed staff in the Art Department who are already working extremely well under the direction of Lindsay Park who is also an experienced moderator for the relevant examination board.”

Hartlepool Sixth Form College achieved its best every A-level results this year with a 99.8 per cent pass rate.

High grades were up by more than five per cent and in total 210 top star grades were achieved.