Ofsted’s review of the MET: High numbers of students progress in to industry but some areas to improve
Ofsted has released the inspection report for the MET; the first inspection since the College merged almost three years ago. The MET, which has campuses across Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing, is one of the first colleges in the UK to undergo a stringent new framework assessment introduced by Ofsted in August of this year.
CEO of the MET, Nick Juba, said: “I am very pleased that Ofsted recognised so much that is good at the College and the critical role we provide in preparing young people and adults for work and further study. There is much to be proud of and students from the MET continue to secure good outcomes and positive destinations.
We recognise that there is more to do and everyone at the College is committed to working on those areas for improvement over the coming weeks and months. We look forward to Ofsted returning to the College in due course to show them our good practice and progress.”
The MET’s vision is to be recognised by students, staff, employers and the local communities as an exceptional provider of technical, vocational and professional education. The report discusses the wealth of positive aspects of the College’s provision, its industry-experienced teaching staff and the achievements of its students. Ofsted are clear that our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of local people and businesses, with many subjects being developed in association with local employers.
The report recognises the high quality of provision for adults and the personal development of all students at the College. Ofsted also praise our work with high needs students, including the College’s ‘Gateway’ courses. Safeguarding is effective and the inspectors are clear that the College provides a welcoming and safe environment for all students, with a strong emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. Teaching staff are recognised as providing good quality teaching and support, as well as setting high aspirations for what students can achieve. Consequently, a high proportion progress to employment or further and higher education.
However, there are a number of areas that the College acknowledges need additional focus and prior to the inspection, the MET had already identified some challenges within its apprenticeship offer that has resulted in an inconsistent level of service being offered to apprentices and their employers. The College has begun a significant improvement project to ensure that every apprentice and their employer receives the same high standard of training and support to ensure they not only complete their apprenticeship in a timely manner but they qualify with the real-life skills and knowledge required for a successful career in their chosen field.
The report comes in the context of challenging political times and ongoing financial difficulties for further education (FE) colleges. In recent times, The Association of Colleges (AoC) has been lobbying for fairer funding for the sector in its ‘Love our colleges’ campaign. The statistics are stark; colleges educate 2.2 million people yet they are the only part of the education system that has been subject to cut after cut during the last decade. Furthermore, ‘teachers in colleges are paid 20% less than in schools, and many support staff have seen little or no pay increase for several years’. The MET, along with colleges across the country, are asking for the public’s support to raise the profile of FE education ahead of the upcoming election. Find out more at loveourcolleges.co.uk.
* Source: loveourcolleges.co.uk