Pioneer of PFI 'poor value'

13th August 2004 at 01:00
A college hailed as a private finance initiative pathfinder has been castigated by inspectors for providing poor value for money.

Two years ago, Newbury college was relocated to a 40-acre greenfield site in Berkshire in a pound;12million development.

But today inspectors publish a report severely criticising its teaching and learning.

It describes the overall quality of provision as inadequate, grading it unsatisfactory in three of the 11 curriculum areas and in all work-based learning areas.

Leadership and management are also graded unsatisfactory, with inspectors saying too little attention is given to addressing significant weaknesses in the quality of teaching and learning.

Management is not doing enough to tackle decreasing enrolments, quality assurance and curriculum management, say inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education and the Adult Learning Inspectorate.

However, the inspectors took the unusual step of exonerating Newbury's pound;90,000-a-year principal, Dr Anne Murdoch, from blame for the leadership failings.

In a separate statement, they said: "The college has undergone a substantial programme of change since the previous inspection in 1998. A new principal took up post in September 2001 and has provided strong management of these changes."

Dr Murdoch said: "Since the inspection we have taken the opportunity to refocus some teams across the college, improved staff training and development, and (emphasised) the quality of teaching and learning.

"The inspection has identified many strengths at Newbury college, but has also identified areas where we need to improve in order to provide the best possible service to learners within our local community," she said.

The college had a comprehensive action plan to improve retention of learners and embed new quality systems, she added.

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

Comments

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