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Dundee & Angus College

2019 Full Inspection Report
Areas for Development
  1. Traditional patterns of gender segregation remain evident across almost half of the College curriculum, resulting in too many subjects showing a 75% or greater gender split (see detail within the Gender Equality Plan).
  2. Although on a par with national average outcomes for all learners, at c.63% the successful outcomes for Care Experienced learners lag behind those of other learner groups within D&A and do not yet reflect D&A aspirational standards (of 75%+).
  1. Despite overall improvement, individual outcomes across the 10 course areas covered by the Scottish Government Retention Project have been inconsistent, with some improving significantly whilst others have worsened. NC Social Science level 5 further withdrawal increased from 21% to 31% in 2017/18 whilst Access to Life Sciences (SWAP) further withdrawals reduced from 40% to 17.4%.
  2. With a day one outcome figure of 51.4% in 2017/18, learner retention and attainment for standalone Highers and full-time Highers programmes lag significantly behind those of other provision.
  1. The maintenance and expansion of formalised articulation agreements has not kept pace with recent curriculum developments and changes in staffing within the College and key HEI partners. This has resulted in a number of agreements becoming dated, with the potential for future impact on articulation with advanced standing for learners on new programmes or those in areas where agreements have lapsed.
  2. Although the development and delivery of Career Management Skills is strong across all curriculum areas, the promotion and signposting of the Career Education Standards 3-18 is not fully evident.
  3. Whilst excellent opportunities are provided in most curriculum areas, the College aspirations for all learners within full-time FE courses to benefit from work experience/work placement opportunities that match fully with the Work Placement Standard for Colleges has not yet been realised.
  1. College accommodation is generally of a high standard, however the accommodation and facilities within the Kingsway campus no longer meet learner or curriculum needs. This is resulting in learning environments that fall below acceptable standards and learning environments that are failing to keep pace with learner expectations or the needs of regional employers. This is having a day-to-day impact in subject areas such as Hair and Beauty, and is a major barrier to the implementation of the Regional STEM strategy and ambitions for Tayside.
  2. Learner feedback highlights that the use of diverse assessment approaches and methods is not consistent across all teams, limiting the value of some assessments as learning opportunities and reducing learner engagement in the assessment process.
  1. At c80% across a wide range of measures, levels of learner satisfaction are consistently high but have remained static for a number of years and are not improving in line with College aspirations.
  1. Whilst good progress has been made in respect of Students’ Association organisation and development, sustaining a single cohesive Students’ Association Executive has proven to be a challenge year-on year, resulting in disproportionate gaps in learner representation on individual campuses and impacting negatively on the overall effectiveness and autonomy of the Association.
  1. Feedback drawn from learning and teaching observations highlights that too many lessons are still delivered in a traditional teacher led format that does not match fully with College aspirations for the adoption of modern learning styles. Although these approaches can often be successful they do not fully engage learners in their learning, or prepare learners well for the next stages of their learning journey.
  2. Class and lead representative feedback on learning and teaching is more limited and less consistent than feedback on other topics, resulting in a restricted learner voice in this area (see 2.3 above).

Report Recommendations