High standards, but teaching is too narrow

4th March 2005 at 00:00
After inspecting all 46 colleges, HMI finds that most "are being educated to an increasingly high standard", according to Graham Donaldson, head of the inspectorate. Colleges were working to address areas where they could be stronger.

Roger McClure, chief executive of the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, said colleges were doing consistently well. "We should all be proud of this remarkable national resource," Mr McClure said.

Of 3,728 "episodes of learning" observed during subject reviews over the three years, 90 per cent were classed as very good or good and only 10 per cent as fair.

Inspections of college-wide aspects, which cover areas such as leadership, curricular support, access and quality assurance, showed that almost all grades for staff were very good or good. The lowest score for college activities, at 80 per cent, was for quality improvement.

Inspectors urge colleges to pay more attention to weaknesses in teaching, including a narrow range of teaching and learning approaches featuring "excessively didactic structures (which) reduced learner interest and motivation". Also criticised were "minimalist" approaches which followed too closely the demands of assessment.

These factors inhibited student achievement and led to substantial numbers dropping out of many programmes.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now