Ofsted: 82,000 students taught in ‘inadequate’ colleges

Rising numbers of colleges are being failed by education inspectors amid warnings that institutions are failing to properly prepare teenagers for the world of work. Ofsted warned 35 per cent of colleges were not good enough – up from 30 per cent at the end of 2010. This is from the Telegraph…

Figures show that 13 colleges – collectively teaching more than 82,000 students – were given the lowest possible ranking of “inadequate”. This compared with just four 12 months ago.

In its annual report, Ofsted said that no colleges in England were judged to be outstanding for standards of teaching for the second year in a row.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector, said that the number of people completing courses aimed at over-16s had been steadily rising.But he claimed that students were not necessarily gaining the skills required by employers in the workplace and colleges were often recruiting teenagers on to low-level courses that have little value.

In a damning conclusion, Sir Michael said the further education sector was a “real concern for me at a time when the nation needs skilled and qualified people entering the workforce more than ever before”.

The report added: “A qualification serves little purpose if it adds no value to a CV or application form.

“True indicators of success must take account of the nature and level of the course and its value in leading to higher-level qualifications and jobs that meet local and national needs.”

Ofsted’s annual report said there were many good, outstanding and some “genuinely world class” institutions in the learning and skills sector.

But it warned that the overall quality of the education on offer was not improving.

Nationally, 1.5 million people are in colleges and other further education providers that are not good enough, Ofsted said, adding that some institutions have been stuck on the “satisfactory” rating for a decade.

“For general further education colleges, the overall picture of inspection results has worsened over the last year,” the report warned.

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