College told it must improve

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A specialist college in Leigh has been told it “requires improvement” by education inspectors.

Ofsted gave the third lowest of four ratings after their visit to Expanse Group Ltd.

The inspection was a really positive experience for everyone involved and the findings in the report matched our own self assessment.

Tony Brown

The college is based at Leigh Sports Village and provides education for 47 students with learning difficulties or disabilities, as well as apprenticeships in creative digital media and teaching.

But inspectors found too few students entered for functional skills English and maths exams achieved their qualifications and too few had meaningful work experience placements.

The quality of teaching and assessment was judged to be not individualised enough and the curriculum was described as “too narrow”.

They made several recommendations for improvement, which included broadening the curriculum, increasing the proportion of students achieving English and maths functional skills qualifications, and improving the quality of teaching, learning and achieving by having meaningful targets.

Ofsted identified strengths at the college which included supported internships, partnership arrangements with employers and local authority teams and its “inclusive culture”.

Chief executive Tony Brown said: “The inspection was a really positive experience for everyone involved and the findings in the report matched our own self assessment. “After a sustained period of growth in this highly complex sector, inspectors endorsed the progress we are making, especially this year, which was still too immature to impact on the grades awarded during this inspection. We continually work with all of our stakeholders to develop our provision, with initiatives including appointing a board of governors, opening a new vocational centre and extending our work experience programme.”