‘High expectations are explicit’ at improving Hartlepool college that was slated by Ofsted

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A COLLEGE which was slated as inadequate by Ofsted is improving.

Education watchdogs visited Hartlepool Sixth Form at the end of last year and gave it the lowest possible rating.

However, following a recent monitoring visit to the Brinkburn college, inspectors said they could see progress being made.

Among the issues highlighted in the original Further Education and Skills Inspection Report, were too few students staying to complete their AS-levels and young people not gaining the high grades they are capable of.

It also stated teaching, learning and assessment are not consistently good enough and maths not given enough attention.

But, following a recent monitoring visit to the Blakelock Road college the inspectors said the problems are being addressed.

They said: “The new principal has made clear his determination to drive through wide-ranging improvements to accelerate student progress and raise attainment.

“High expectations are explicit and senior leaders are clearly committed to ensuring that plans are implemented effectively.

“A new and more rigorous focus on attendance and punctuality is already resulting in improvement.”

The inspectors said performance directors are taking a pro-active and leading role in supporting and challenging heads of department and teachers in under-performing areas with frequent meetings to review student progress, attendance and retention.

They said better arrangements to support students who are underachieving have been formalised.

Inspectors said: “Students who have difficulty keeping up with work make use of a directed study area supervised by a teacher. Academic support tutorials are run three times a week by subject teachers to provide additional help to those who need it or those who are underachieving.

“Resource issues have been addressed where these were perceived as barriers to achievement. For example, additional equipment has been purchased for product design.”

They said the college is now developing links with good and outstanding departments in other colleges to share good practice and children in secondary schools are being given more information about attending the college.

And, they said governors are very clear about the need to make significant and rapid changes to their role and effectiveness.

Mo Bunter, performance director at the college, said; “The college management team is happy with the progress being made and is confident that students’ performance will be significantly higher than last year.”