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New College Lanarkshire

2019 Full Inspection Report
Areas for development
  • To ensure a sound, current understanding of equality and diversity issues as well as responsibilities held by staff to minimise barriers to learning, ongoing professional updates required for staff.
  • As part of the NCL Gender Action Plan, there is a requirement to continue to work with key stakeholders to address gender imbalance in a significant number of programmes. This will include extending some of the actions undertaken in 17/18.
  • Although progress has been made on improving early withdrawal rates further action is required to improve retention for all areas.
  • Although progress has been made on improving success rates further action is required to improve success rates for specific identified low performing curricular areas.
  • Emphasis will be in 16-19 yr olds for FEFT, as analysis shows lower attainment than for other learners.
  • Core skills development plan required to improve specific core skill attainment – below in ICT at SCQF level 5 by 2.1%, WWO at SCQF level 4 by 15.1%.
  • HEFT shows a marginal decline in performance over the three years. Success rates have fallen to 66.1% in 17/18, down by 0.4% on the previous year. Early Withdrawal rates are at their lowest in three years, improving by 1.4%. However, further withdrawal rose slightly 0.4%. Performance was impacted by the sharp rise of 1.4% in partial success. Plans are in place to target learner withdrawal and attainment, which aims to deliver a change in performance.
  • Implementation of the newly introduced online Master Pack System for all Faculties.
  • Faculty for Supported Learning to establish a short life working group of school staff and college staff to look at the curriculum/DYW to ensure it meet the needs of current and future learners.
  • There should be more evidence of employer engagement in course review to ensure courses are suitable for progression. There is some evidence contained within the ACE, but the approach is not consistent.
  • Increase partnership working with local authorities and employers to enhance the number of Foundation Apprenticeships delivered.
  • The use of the language of career management skills across staff is not strong, even where work experience is fully embedded.
  • Work experience is positive for many learners, but it is not well developed in some curriculum areas.
  • Inconsistent attendance patterns at college-devised CPD events leads to different approaches and practices across the college in a few areas in relation to quality arrangements and other key quality assurance procedures.
  • A few curriculum teams do not use learner performance data or learner feedback at unit and programme level adequately to improve achievement.
  • Some curriculum areas should improve the use of e-technology/digital skills in learning and teaching sessions.
  • In a few subject areas, core skills are delivered discretely through completion of generic workbooks and these learners do not find these approaches stimulating or motivating.
  • There is limited evidence of whether turnaround times in learner interactions with Corporate Services Teams meet the needs of learners, teams and the college. Services Standards for Corporate Services Teams will be agreed and implemented.
  • There are two high profile whole-college learner surveys per year and a range of locally devised surveys, but there may be some gaps in perception gathering of the full range of college customers and stakeholders. A review of feedback mechanisms is being carried and improvements will be implemented where required.
  • Attendance monitoring arrangements are inconsistent. Some staff pro-actively use the services of the Key Support Advisers to contact absent learners. However, some curriculum areas are less proactive and do not make effective use of these services.
  • Elected Student Association Officers work inconsistently, so need ongoing development to ensure that they are effective and represent learners.
  • There is a need to clarify aspects of professional flexibility and how it should operate effectively. There has been variable practice and a variety of interpretations made by staff and managers relating to the flexible working arrangements and this requires to be addressed.
  • Maximise the support provided for learners by documenting the learner journey from initial interest to successful certification and destination, identifying key documents and performance targets, and implement regular monitoring against targets.
  • There is inconsistent understanding by teaching staff of the range of dashboard information and key performance indicators. Deliver a programme of CPD and support to provide staff with the data that they need to develop improvements to delivery of learning and teaching.
  • Some staff need to engage better in college ‘Evaluation of Learning and Teaching’ processes.
  • Review the effectiveness of the Annual Curriculum Evaluation tool and improve or replace it to increase the impact of course team evaluations leading to enhanced learner experience and success.
  • There is variable understanding of DYW terminology and targets by course teams, reducing their ability to evaluate and improve accordingly. CPD and support is required in order to provide the required level of understanding and impact across the college.
  • Targets for a range of learner groups, including protected characteristics groupings, SIMD10 and Care Experienced learners need to be cascaded to Corporate Services Teams so that they can implement specific improvement actions in order to contribute to the ROA targets.
  • Improvements to liaison with a range of external stakeholders will be facilitated by identifying all stakeholders, creating a register with main contacts, and identifying their needs from the college.
  • While there are very good examples of Corporate Services Teams learning from benchmarking with other organisations, the development of a collegewide benchmarking strategy and further development of inter-college benchmarking groups is likely to result in further improvements

Report Recommendations