£150,000 bid to lift standards at college

Catherine Richards, vice principal at Fareham College
Catherine Richards, vice principal at Fareham College
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FAREHAM College is going to spend £150,000 in a bid to lift standards after receiving a ‘satisfactory’ rating by Ofsted.

The college was visited by inspectors in May and the performing arts and music departments received an inadequate grade.

Inspectors said teachers did too much work for the students and that many activities were dull.

Now, the college has promised £150,000 will be invested in the department over the summer for new facilities including a dance studio, rehearsal spaces and a new computer suite.

Dr Catherine Richards, vice principal at the college, said: ‘It’s an area we had already targeted for some development anyway.

‘They felt that some areas of the curriculum needed further development. We have taken all of that on board.’

Dr Richards added that the overall grade for the report was based on data from success rates in 2008 and 2009, and that since then the college had seen an improvement, and was predicting top results this summer.

‘We are better than satisfactory,’ she added.

‘The data was two years old. We have come some distance since then. We know that we are better and we can accept that it was based on that data.

‘We are already predicting for the end of this year to be in the top 25 per cent of further education colleges in the country.’

Inspectors added that too many lessons are satisfactory and that teachers are failing to question the students regularly enough.

‘There are some key messages in there about questioning the students,’ added Dr Richards.

‘We have got staff development plans in place. Staff have been trained this week in how to develop their teaching. We have got a satisfactory report, we have got to accept that. But we already know for September that we are already going to be grading ourselves in the top 25 per cent.’

Inspectors did praise the quality of the hairdressing and beauty therapy courses, which were graded as good.