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City of Bristol College

2023 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve?
  • Increase the number of learners who benefit from work-related activity and/or formal work experience.
  • Provide a comprehensive personal development programme for all students and apprentices.
  • Improve the quality and range of impartial careers information, advice and guidance.
  • Enhance quality assurance to focus more on the quality of education.
  • Ensure that all staff get the professional development they need to improve their practice so that they better understand how to support learners with high needs and provide more useful feedback for students and apprentices.

2019 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve?
  • Although many areas of the curriculum have improved, leaders should ensure that the current variations in the quality of curriculum delivery and students’ achievement continue to reduce for young people and apprentices.
  • Leaders and managers have ensured that GCSE English and mathematics achievements have improved for young people and adults. However, too few young people and adults make good progress in or achieve their functional skills qualifications. Leaders and managers should ensure that all students have access to a high-quality English and mathematics curriculum.
  • While leaders and managers have established a range of work-related learning opportunities, they should ensure that all young people can consolidate their knowledge and skills through high-quality external work experience that is planned at the start of their programmes.
  • Leaders and managers have developed effective links with employers to meet the needs of their local economy. They now need to develop the curriculum further for specific apprenticeships and ensure that on- and off-the-job training is aligned carefully to maximise apprentices’ progress and their acquisition of skills, knowledge and behaviours.
  • Leaders and managers have been successful at improving students’ attendance in most areas of the college. However, there are still pockets of poor attendance in a few subject areas which need to be improved.
  • Leaders and managers are ambitious for students and apprentices to progress to higher level programmes. However, they still need to improve the proportion of vocational students moving onto higher level programmes.

2017 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Raise the quality of teaching, learning and assessment by:
    • ensuring that lessons and workshops are demanding enough to challenge learners and apprentices to develop a deeper understanding and, for those who are capable, to attain higher grades in their qualifications
    • improving the English and mathematics skills of learners and apprentices by providing activities for them to practise these skills in vocational and academic sessions
    • assessing learners’ and apprentices’ understanding more effectively and helping them to apply previous learning to new concepts and situations.
  • Raise the attendance of all learners further, especially in English and mathematics lessons, so that they develop the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their qualifications and the relevant employability skills.
  • Improve the achievement and progression rates for apprentices, adults and learners on study programmes by:
    • improving the scheduling and teaching of functional skills for apprentices
    • improving assessors’ progress reviews of apprentices so that they set and monitor appropriate targets to challenge apprentices to make swifter progress
    • identifying why more learners do not progress to higher levels of learning within the college and developing action plans to increase the number of learners progressing to the next level.
  • Monitor the destinations of all learners and apprentices and compare these with intended destinations. Identify trends and patterns where these do not match, and develop actions to ensure that the curriculum meets local needs effectively.

2016 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Ensure that leaders’ actions are strongly focused on tackling the weaknesses identified through selfassessment, performance management and inspection, and that leaders closely monitor the impact of these actions on improving learners’ outcomes.
  • Provide governors with simple and regular reports that show progress against agreed performance indicators so that they better understand the financial and academic performance of the college.
  • Devise simple approaches for managers to develop a more accurate view of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in their area of responsibility.
  • Introduce effective strategies to improve attendance and punctuality, including setting high expectations for learners and reducing the disruption to lessons and assessments caused by the high turnover of staff.
  • Closely monitor the progress made by each learner on their course. Use this monitoring to quickly identify learners who are falling behind with their work and to put in place the support they need to help them catch up.
  • Ensure all teachers have high expectations of their learners and set them challenging and stretching targets.
  • Plan and deliver lessons in which learners consistently develop new skills and knowledge. Assess learners regularly to ensure that they are developing these skills at the highest level possible and meeting their targets.
  • Urgently provide strong leadership for apprenticeships to ensure the outcomes and the quality of provision meet the training and skills needs of local employers.
  • Devise and implement a strategy across the college that tackles the weaknesses in the teaching of English and mathematics so that learners develop high standards of skills in these subjects.
  • Introduce more effective monitoring of learners’ progression into further education, training and employment.
  • Effectively harness the goodwill and support of local partners to ensure improvements to the college meet the needs and aspirations of employers and stakeholders in Bristol.

2014 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Accelerate the rate of improvement achieved to date in teaching, learning and assessment by ensuring teachers:
    • have consistently high expectations of all learners, to encourage them to achieve their full potential
    • check learning in lessons more rigorously and systematically so that they know more clearly the progress learners are making
    • use prior attainment information from group profiles to plan learning activities more effectively so that they provide appropriate challenge for all learners
    • provide feedback of a consistently high quality to learners on the standard of their work so that they know more precisely what they need to do to improve their performance
    • improve learners’ English and mathematical skills through skilful use of appropriate vocational contexts, so as to equip learners more fully for progression into further study or employment.
  • Improve the quality of individual learning plans so that teachers promote learners’ progress more consistently through their achievement of appropriately challenging targets.
  • Increase the rigour and speed of follow up for teachers whose lessons require improvement and ensure good practice is used effectively within and between subject areas.
  • Develop teachers’ skills and confidence in planning to promote equality and support diversity to a consistently high standard in lessons; enable teachers to manage better spontaneous discussion of this aspect.
  • In work-based learning, improve learners’ progress and achievement through:
    • more rigorous and systematic tracking of learners’ progress against precise targets
    • more frequent visits to carry out planned review and assessment in the workplace
    • establishing better links between on- and off-the-job training.
  • Extend the availability of good-quality external work placements, in order to prepare learners better for transition into employment or further study.
  • Improve learners’ attendance and punctuality so that learners make better progress in their learning.

What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Increase the overall effectiveness of the provision in the inadequate subject areas and in functional skills by improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and leadership and management in these areas.
  • Enable teachers to improve learners’ English and mathematics skills during lessons and through marking and feedback of their work by sharing the good practice which exists in certain areas of the college.
  • Increase the effectiveness of learners’ short-term target setting so that they are specific to their needs and help them to progress rapidly. Through more effective use of the individual learning plan, ensure the frequent and rigorous monitoring of learners’ progress against these targets. Enable rapid intervention to support less able learners and to challenge more able ones so that all learners achieve their full potential.
  • Provide staff development to teachers and learning support staff so that they work cooperatively to improve the quality of the learning experience for all learners. Enable teachers to use a wide range of interesting and enjoyable activities which cater for the needs of learners of different abilities and which inspire them to make high levels of progress.
  • Strengthen the monitoring of the effectiveness and usefulness of assessment for learners so that their work is marked appropriately and thoroughly and feedback really does enable them to improve in their next assignment.
  • Increase teachers’ awareness of, and their ability to make the best of, opportunities to promote issues which relate naturally to equality and diversity in lessons and through assessments. Share the good practice which exists in centres to promote equality and diversity more widely so that all learners and staff benefit from these initiatives.
  • Improve the effectiveness of the appraisal process so that it takes account of a wide range of management information and evidence to inform judgements on staff’s accountability for their learners’ outcomes.
  • Increase learners’ success rates and the progress they make by applying the recommendations above with great rigour and by close monitoring of the effectiveness of action plans to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

2010 Full Inspection Report
What does City of Bristol College need to do to improve further?
  • Teachers should challenge all learners sufficiently and provide a range of learning activities that keep learners interested and inspired.
  • Ensure that learners have clear and timely targets for their learning and progress that meet their individual needs and prior attainment more fully.
  • Improve the rigour of observation of lessons and other learning activities to ensure that managers gain a clearer view of the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Improve the critical analysis within TPRs, reducing the inconsistencies that exist across curriculum areas to enable managers to have a more accurate picture of the quality of provision.
  • Train teachers and staff more effectively to ensure equality and diversity are promoted well in all lessons and in reviews for work-based learners.

2006 Full Inspection Report
Areas for improvement

The college should address:

  • declining success rates in a few areas
  • success rates at level 3 for adults and work-based learners
  • inconsistencies in meeting the needs of all learners in lessons
  • opportunities for enrichment, particularly in sport
  • untimely provision of support for some learners including those studying part-time at community sites.

2001 Full Inspection Report
What should be improved
  • unsuitable accommodation at the Brunel site
  • ineffective monitoring of students' records of attendance and punctuality
  • underdeveloped monitoring of target setting for students
  • unreliable achievement data in a minority of curriculum areas
  • inadequate management of work-based learning.

Report Recommendations