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Central Bedfordshire College

2022 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve?
  • Leaders must ensure that the quality of education in apprenticeships rapidly improves. Assessors must work with apprentices’ employers to help apprentices make swift progress in all aspects of their apprenticeship, both at work and when at college.
  • Leaders must ensure that young learners and apprentices make good progress in improving their English and mathematics skills. They must ensure that teachers of functional skills are appropriately trained to teach these subjects. Teachers and assessors need to promote the importance of English and mathematics skills so that learners and apprentices value this learning and attend lessons more frequently.
  • Leaders must provide training for teachers of study programmes to enable them to meet the needs of learners with EHC plans. Leaders need to ensure that teachers use the targets set in EHC plans to plan and review the appropriateness of the education and training they provide for individual learners.
  • Leaders must ensure that they take action to remedy the weaknesses identified in the subcontracted adult provision. They must ensure that it is of the same high standard as the remainder of the adult curriculum.

2018 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve?
  • Leaders and managers need to work with teachers and learners to reverse the decline in learners’ achievements and ensure that learners and apprentices are successful in achieving their qualifications within the allocated time.
  • Improve teaching, learning and assessment by:
    • raising teachers’ expectations of what all learners can achieve
    • ensuring that teachers plan challenging and interesting work, both in lessons and for independent study, which broadens learners’ knowledge and deepens their understanding
    • ensuring that teachers use detailed information about their learners’ existing skills and abilities to monitor learners’ progress rigorously and to set clear and meaningful targets for improvement
    • making sure all teachers provide learners with effective and timely feedback which enables them to improve the standard of their work and their use of English and mathematics.
  • As a matter of urgency, ensure that all learners attend their lessons regularly.
  • Increase the number of governors who are involved in the oversight of the quality of provision and ensure that they hold leaders to account by their scrutiny of achievement and progress data.

2016 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Ensure that managers monitor effectively actions set to improve further the quality of the provision, such as actions to improve teaching and learning across all subject areas and provision types, and intervene where required.
  • Ensure that students arrive at their classes on time and have with them the necessary equipment ready to learn.
  • Increase the proportion of learners who achieve their mathematics qualifications.
  • Rapidly improve the apprenticeship provision in line with employer expectations so that more apprentices complete their qualifications in a timely manner.

2013 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Increase the proportion of students who achieve their vocational courses and qualifications in English and mathematics, especially 16-18 year olds at advanced level by improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, progress tracking and target setting.
  • Improve the attendance rates of students through regular monitoring and intervention when required, so that it is consistently high, to improve their performance.
  • Collect information from all students about their intended destinations when they complete their course at college. Use this information to inform curriculum planning and self-assessment.
  • Increase the amount of outstanding teaching that challenges and inspires students, ensuring that lessons enable all students to reach their full potential by ensuring that judgements on the quality of lessons focus exclusively on the extent of students’ learning.
  • Develop the use of information and learning technology (ILT) to extend the opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and to help students become more independent in their learning.
  • Continue to develop the effectiveness and capability of curriculum managers by ensuring that they utilise key management information data effectively to monitor the progress of students and to develop clear and specific actions for quality improvement.

2012 Full Inspection Report
What does Central Bedfordshire College need to do to improve further?
  • Fully secure the college site, agreed for the start of the new academic year, by the creation of one point of entry to the college. Ensure that total compliance with the use of ID cards accompanies this.
  • To increase the safeguarding of learners, develop more fully their understanding of e-safety, through implementation of the actions identified in the college’s action plan for improvement.
  • To meet legal requirements, ensure that all staff and governors complete the level 1 safeguarding training speedily and by the final date set by the college.

2011 Full Inspection Report
What does Central Bedfordshire College need to do to improve further?
  • Ensure the college meets government requirements in all its arrangements for safeguarding by making sure all relevant documentation is reviewed frequently and that the college’s single central register is up to date and complete.
  • Provide greater consistency in improvements by clarifying all lines of accountability and responsibility within the college so that all staff know who is responsible for monitoring specific activities and processes. In addition, ensure all action plans outline the issues, actions and timescales clearly and the presentation of data is clear so that trends and inconsistencies are easily visible.
  • Increase pass rates for those aged 16 to 18 on intermediate and advanced level programmes and ensure greater consistency in success and attendance rates between departments by raising the standard of managers’ skills in the analysis and evaluation of data and outcomes, raising the standard of self-assessment to identify accurately areas of strength and underperformance.
  • Increase the success rates of different groups of learners, notably Asian Pakistani learners aged 16 to 18, by ensuring the analysis and monitoring on the performance of different groups are sufficiently comprehensive, reported clearly through self-assessment, and are part of quality improvement plans. Additionally, ensure managers evaluate clearly the performance of different work-based learning groups.
  • Raise the standard of lesson observations, including evaluating the promotion of equality and diversity, by ensuring observations have greater rigour and that managers fully analyse findings to inform actions to improve lessons.
  • Improve teachers’ checks on learning in lessons by ensuring these take place frequently, staff have training to undertake this task effectively and increase the use of demanding questioning. In addition, make more use of initial assessment information to improve further the planning of teaching and learning.
  • Strengthen the curriculum offer across the college by increasing the rigour in the planning of the provision at department level and ensuring that the benefits of partnership working are maximised and, where appropriate, better shared across departments.
  • Improve the impact of support by better monitoring of learners’ progress through their individual learning plans. Ensure where group tutorials are of a lower standard, managers identify this issue and take action to raise standards including engaging learners more in discussion and debate.

2008 Full Inspection Report
Areas for improvement

The college should address:

  • declining and low long course success rates at level 2 for adult learners
  • inadequate provision in ICT
  • insufficient provision and use of ILT in lessons
  • insufficient opportunities for work experience for learners aged 16 to 18
  • insufficient arrangements for supporting and sharing good tutorial practice
  • unsatisfactory strategic and development planning
  • insufficient analysis of the outcomes from quality assurance arrangements.

2006 Full Inspection Report
Areas for improvement

The college should address:

  • low pass rates on many courses
  • the coordination and consistency of key skills provision
  • the need to increase the amount of good and outstanding teaching
  • learners’ low attendance and poor punctuality
  • the quality of individual target-setting for learners
  • the need to increase employer engagement
  • the promotion of equality and diversity in lessons
  • the lack of a consistent approach to the management of work-based learning
  • the quality of provision in sport, travel and tourism.

2004 Re-Inspection Report


2002 Full Inspection Report
What should be improved
  • the unsatisfactory provision in information and communication technology (ICT), business administration and professional courses, and literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • the standard of teaching and learning
  • the consistency and rigour in the application of quality assurance arrangements
  • some ineffective curriculum management
  • insufficient provision at foundation level for students aged 16 to 18.

Report Recommendations