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West Thames College

2021 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve?
  • Leaders should ensure that the quality of education in the small proportion of subjects where it requires improving meets the high standard of other subject areas across the college.
  • Managers and teachers should consistently provide learners with high-quality feedback on marked work, so that all learners know what they have done well and how to improve.
  • Leaders should ensure that managers and teachers on apprenticeship courses plan and teach an effective personal development curriculum, including access to suitable careers advice and guidance.Leaders and managers need to:

2017 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Leaders and managers need to:
    • ensure that learners on 16 to 19 study programmes benefit from relevant work experience to enable them to practise the skills and knowledge they have gained at college
    • improve rapidly the management of apprenticeship learning to ensure that apprentices make good progress and achieve their qualifications in the time planned
    • monitor and track learners’ and apprentices’ next steps in education, training and/or employment to ensure that they relate well to their studies.
  • Leaders and managers need to strengthen existing quality assurance arrangements by:
    • focusing closely on the skills and knowledge learners and apprentices are developing and the progress that they make
    • ensuring that self-assessment of performance focuses sharply on long-standing weaknesses, and that subsequent actions rapidly improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Teachers and assessors need to make effective use of the information available to them regarding learners’ and apprentices’ starting points and their ongoing progress, to ensure that learning is demanding and appropriate to their learning requirements.
  • On 16 to 19 study programmes, teachers need to ensure that learners:
    • attend frequently and remain focused on their learning as a result of inspiring teaching, learning and assessment
    • apply their mathematics skills frequently and well in their vocational lessons.

2014 Full Inspection Report
What does the provider need to do to improve further?
  • Ensure the continued improvement of teaching, learning and assessment, so that most is outstanding. Build on the existing best practice of teachers, always to plan to meet the needs of all students, paying particular attention to providing sufficient challenge for more able students.
  • Ensure that the review of students’ progress and the setting of challenging and measurable targets are consistently rigorous for all students. Help all students to improve by always including short-term development targets in learning plans, including the recently-introduced electronic learning plans.
  • As part of the college’s drive to continue to improve students’ success, pay particular attention to raising success rates on level 1 courses and for all apprentices. Also, improve students’ achievement of high grades, and increase the extent to which all students reach a higher level of attainment than might be expected from their starting points when they join the college.
  • Improve students’ attendance and punctuality, initially to the level of the college’s targets for improvement.

2010 Full Inspection Report
What does West Thames College need to do to improve further?
  • Raise success rates on adult programmes in language, literacy and numeracy, especially at entry level, by urgently implementing the recommendations within the subject report.
  • Raise learners’ success rates so they are consistently high in all areas by improving the quality of teaching and learning, assessing learners’ progress more sharply and by monitoring outcomes and progress more accurately through quality assurance processes.
  • Develop teachers’ skills so that teachers plan for the individual needs of all learners, and make better use of a range of teaching methods, in order to improve students’ progress and outcomes and increase the proportion of good or better lessons.
  • Develop the programme of observation of teaching and learning to evaluate the progress that students make during lessons so that the college’s assessment of its teaching and learning is more accurate.
  • Set and monitor more specific targets with students, based on a full range of information including prior attainment and initial and diagnostic assessments, in order to improve their progress and maximise their potential for achievement.
  • Ensure that all students receive sufficiently detailed feedback on their assessments so they know how to improve.
  • Strengthen links with employers to further develop vocational provision, such as apprenticeships, to extend the opportunities for learners.
  • Improve the accuracy and use of data in self-assessment procedures to ensure judgements are accurate, all areas for improvement are highlighted and actions for improvement are put into place.

2007 Full Inspection Report
Areas for improvement

The college should address:

  • the significant proportion of teaching that remains only satisfactory
  • the inconsistent quality of key skills provision across curriculum areas
  • the uneven use of management information across curriculum areas to sharpen focus on quality improvement.

2004 Re-Inspection Report


2003 Full Inspection Report
What should be improved
  • management in some curriculum areas
  • proportion of good teaching through better sharing of good practice
  • use of information and learning technology (ILT) in teaching and learning
  • management of work-based learning
  • development of students' key skills
  • co-ordination and management of tutorials
  • provision of learning support for level 2 and level 3 students
  • students' attendance and punctuality
  • links with employers.

Report Recommendations