OFSTED: KGV Given the lowest possible grade across the board

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OFSTED have confirmed they have given KGV Sixth Form College, Southport, the lowest possible grade across the board following their unannounced inspection of the college in September.

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Their basic criticism is that the teaching does not help enough students through their first (AS) year to enable progression to A level

too much provision is poor, especially at AS level.”

and that the achievement of good A levels in the reduced number of students who are now allowed to study A levels at KGV would appear to be more due to the good quality of the students in the first place rather than KGV’s teaching giving much ‘value added’.

Teaching in many courses is considered to be sloppy and does not bring out the best in students from across the ability range. The college has recently cut its numbers and the range of course offered dramatically.

OFSTED’s most severe criticism, however, is reserved for the Principal Adele Wills and the governors. Ms Wills is accused of having teachers with identified faults but she and her management team are accused of not taking management actions necessary to monitor progress and ensue improvement.

“Performance management is not effective. Implementation of systems for lesson observations, learning walks and staff appraisal lack rigour. Managers’ evaluations are not robust enough because they do not focus adequately on how to improve detailed aspects of teaching. Targets to help individual teachers to improve their teaching and outcomes for their students lack rigour and precision. Appraisal actions are often expressed in terms of improved outcomes for students without saying how this will be achieved through specific actions for teachers. The Principal’s appraisal lacks targets and objectives. A lack of clarity about management accountability for standards of teaching and students’ performance on specific courses contribute to weaknesses in performance management”

The governors are taken to task by OFSTED for allowing this state of affairs to happen – not holding the Principal to account for ensuring proper quality management of staff across the board.

“Governors are not sufficiently rigorous in their oversight of the college. They are well informed about overall outcomes, underperforming courses and the outcomes of lesson observations.However, their challenge of managers is not robust. For example, they do not adequately check that actions, such as ‘notices to improve’ are effective. They have not set sufficiently clear and challenging objectives for the Principal and senior leadership team.”

In a statement reminiscent of Birkdale High School, when it received a very poor OFSTED a few years ago,  KGV have responded:

“We are disappointed, as we don’t believe a Grade 4 reflects the quality of education we provide or the excellent results our students have achieved, especially in this summer’s A-Level exams.

“The College’s most recent results are a substantial improvement on the previous year so we know the College is moving in the right direction. We are confident we will continue to build on all the positive work that has already taken place.

”To this end, we are now focusing our energies on addressing the areas for improvement highlighted by Ofsted, in particular our AS results. We are working hard to return these courses to the high standard we expect through finding more creative ways of meeting the needs of all our students. 

”At KGV, our students are our number one priority, and providing them with a first class standard of education to help them realise their academic dreams and career goals is what motivates us.

We will continue to provide huge amounts of support to make sure every student has the greatest possible opportunity to get the best grades they can.

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