WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 2
The Camden College
Working Menâ€™s College:
Our Journey to Outstanding 1996 - 2013
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 3
Contents Introduction from the Chair of Governors, Tom Schuller
College history and mission
Governance and management
Community engagement and outreach provision
Meeting the English needs of migrants and refugees in the local community
Promoting equality and diversity
Re-inventing the Arts curriculum
Advice, guidance and learning support
Improving teaching, learning and assessment
Summary of key findings for learners from 2013 Ofsted inspection
Appendix 1: Research methodology
Appendix 2: Glossary of abbreviations used
Note For each key theme we take a historical approach, tracking through the inspection reports from 1996, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2013 and aiming to show the impact of actions taken by the college.
Acknowledgements The research and nearly all the writing in this document were produced by Pippa Wainwright. Many governors and staff, past and present, made valuable contributions, and additional writing was completed by Working Menâ€™s Collegeâ€™s Senior Management Team. LSIS funding enabled the research, writing and production of the report.
Thanks To all students, volunteers, staff, governors and partners who have travelled with WMC and taken part in our journey to Outstanding, and to the consultants who worked with us on many of the quality improvement initiatives that drove us there.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 1
Introduction from the Chair of Governors, Tom Schuller “This paper gives an excellent account of the college’s journey to its 2013 Outstanding grade, from a very different position 15 years ago. We were naturally delighted and proud to receive this grade, and I hope that the account provides opportunities for others to learn from, and gain encouragement from, our experience. This is the rationale behind the sharing of good practice. However there is no sense in the college that we have solved all our problems, nor that our approach is necessarily suited to other contexts or institutions. We are a college with a long history, and we continue to reinvent our tradition. I am grateful to Pippa Wainwright for her report, and to LSIS for its support, and we look forward to further dialogue with colleagues in the sector.”
“The College has a diverse and multicultural environment. The program is good and offers opportunities to branch out to new disciplines or to progress to higher levels”. Life Drawing student
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 2
Working Men’s College: Our Journey to Outstanding
Executive summary In March 2013 Working Men’s College became the first London college to be graded Outstanding overall using the revised Common Inspection Framework. This was the culmination of an improvement project that had begun in the mid 1990’s when work began to re-establish the most long standing adult education institute in Europe. Thanks to a grant from the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) we have been able to carry out research exploring the key actions taken to ensure improvement across a range of key themes, identified as WMC strengths in the 2013 inspection: • • • • • • • •
Governance and management Community engagement and outreach provision Meeting the English needs of the many migrants and refugees in the local community Promoting equality and diversity Re-inventing the Arts curriculum Advice, guidance and learning support Student Involvement Improving teaching, learning and assessment
The aim was to identify the actions which had the most impact in driving improvement and from these to discover the key success ingredients. These were as follows, with the body of the report then taking each of the themes outlined above and tracking inspection findings from 1996 to 2013 with the key actions taken by the college between inspections. Key Success Ingredients • Financial security – established first and maintained to enable other action • A strong, committed, skilled and experienced governing body • Strategic leadership acumen and continuous scanning of a changing world • A clear vision and strategy involving a commitment to meeting the needs of our local community • Strong, sincere and meaningful partnerships based on mutual goal • The appointment of pivotal managers at crucial points and empowering them to develop key areas (together with being prepared to manage out some staff and doing so effectively) • Strong student involvement and listening and responding to the student voice • A clear focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment • The systematic use of meaningful data for decision making and improvement at all levels of the college • Rigorous quality improvement processes including a fully reflective and critical self-assessment process • Valuing and developing our staff through Continuing Professional Development (CPD), development opportunities and promotion available to all staff • Flexibility and responsiveness to the range of external drivers while never taking our eyes off our mission and the needs of our community and our students
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 3
College history and mission Working Men's College is the oldest surviving adult education institute in Europe, founded in 1854 and associated with the Cooperative Movement and the Christian Socialists. It stems from the same tradition that led later to the Worker's Educational Association. The Working Women's College, founded 10 years later, finally merged with WMC in 1967. Early supporters of both included F. D. Maurice, John Stuart Mill, Tom Hughes, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, Ford Maddox Brown, Walter de la Mare and Octavia Hill. The college has been in its listed building in Camden Town since 1905 and has continued to develop the tradition of liberal education. Today it serves the whole community, with women, unemployed and migrant students forming the majority of the student body of 5,000. The college mission is to be a learner-centred college dedicated to widening access to education for all, providing opportunities for lifelong learning and improving employment prospects for the diverse range of London adults who may not be able to study full time, particularly local people who have missed out on their initial education. The diversity of ethnic groups and languages spoken reflects the area of central London. However the college currently recruits significantly more disadvantaged learners than the district profile and more than other local colleges. The college has grown rapidly in recent years (by 45% over the past 5 years to a total of nearly 1,000 full time equivalent students) but is still small enough to know all its students and to respond to their individual needs. WMC was declared a Specialist Designated Institution (SDI) under the 1992 Further Education Act. The position before the first inspection in 1996: WMC had been founded in 1854 with a collegiate structure, its corporation and its council forming two tiers of governance and most of its officers and teachers working on a voluntary basis. Its finances were in a perilous state and all its daytime accommodation was let to a variety of tenants, leaving only evenings to WMC to produce just 1400 enrolments annually.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 4
Governance and management 1996
The 1996 inspection judged governance and management to be ineffective, awarding grade 4. Weaknesses identified included lack of clarity about the functions of the corporation and the council with no clear strategy, too many vacancies on the corporation, low participation by students in council elections, ineffective committees, and an equal opportunities working group without targets or review processes. There was no system to evaluate the effectiveness of officers, wardens or the college as a whole, weak strategic planning, no operating statement, ineffective monitoring of the education programme, of retention and of students’ destinations. Management of staff was poor; there were insufficient staff meetings and low attendance at training events. Budget management was satisfactory but teachers bid for funds unrelated to curriculum objectives. The use of the management information system was undeveloped and not used for curriculum planning or monitoring attendance and retention. Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) income was only 10% of the total income in 1994/5; funding units were among the very lowest in the sector. The college had failed to reach its schedule 2 target in 1994/5 and had exceeded its non-schedule 2 target. After the 1996 inspection, governors worked hard on structural change. Ruth Silver, the Chair of the Quality and Standards committee and Principal of Lewisham FE College was, with Janet Whitaker, Chair of Governors, strongly instrumental in the appointment of Satnam Gill as Principal in 1999 and in reviewing the need for the posts of vice principal, finance director and college secretary. Together with most of the governing body, they were vigorously proactive in supporting the new strategic direction of the college. Management actions taken by the new principal included appointing Paula Whittle as Deputy Principal with a curriculum and quality brief, establishing Ruth Silver as her mentor, setting up a new management team, commissioning a survey of local people to establish local demand and forging excellent community links. Building works in 2000 included refurbishment of key areas, new computer suites, updated equipment, library and basic skills rooms refurbished and re-equipped. The college increased the funding for its FEFC funded work from £900,000 to £3m over a period of three years, issued newly designed prospectuses, and by 2001 had removed all the original tenants (International School, Kingsway College, University of the 3rd Age were renting and using college space in the daytime).
The 2001 inspection awarded grade 3 for governance. Strengths identified were the governor-led reorganization and college mission, the use of governors’ skills and experience, and self-evaluation. Weaknesses were in the monitoring of college objectives, governing body oversight of finance including operating deficits in the previous few years, lack of rigour over financial forecasts and over-delegation to the finance committee. Further governor training was needed. Management was again awarded grade 4. Strengths identified were in the refocus of the curriculum on local needs, widening participation and staff commitment to college priorities. The design of the staff restructure, the support for part-time staff, the exceeding of college targets on funded units and stronger curriculum leadership were also strengths. Weaknesses were in the operating plan, monitoring of progress, resource management following several changes of staff, financial planning and management, the use of management information systems leading to late returns, communication with support staff and an unreliable individual student record although this was improving. A central issue here was that the FEFC had not technically agreed a deficit. Ruth Silver served as Chair of Governors from 2001 to 2006 and was a passionately committed ally. As a Principal herself, with successful experience of transforming Lewisham College from being about to close in 1990 to Grade 1 in 1995, she was able to engage staff and lead on refocusing the curriculum in the way that the Principal wanted. She and Janet Whitaker were interested in strategic discussions whilst allowing the Principal considerable freedom in developing the curriculum and management. In 2001, Heads of Programme were appointed for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), IT, Visual and Performance Arts (VPA), and student support, including equality and diversity, and the number of salaried teaching staff in key areas increased substantially.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 5
2004 In 2004, inspectors graded the college Good, grade 2, for management and governance. Strengths were in
financial monitoring, use of community partnerships to secure external sources of funding to benefit learners, increase in student numbers, leadership to promote organisational change, partnerships to widen participation, equality and diversity, and continuous improvement in teaching and learning. Weaknesses were in some inadequate resources and some quality assurance implementation. All areas of the curriculum inspected were graded Good. By 2005, when Theresa Hoenig replaced Paula Whittle as Deputy Principal, it had become clear that curriculum management needed to be strengthened. The nature of line management was clarified to ensure that every member of staff had regular communication with their line manager, understood WMC priorities and targets and their relation to their own personal targets, could feed back to managers with good ideas or areas of concern, were able to review progress and outcomes and have their staff development needs met. In 2007 a revised management structure was put in place, with support and development provided for staff new to their management roles. Major building works of approximately £4.7m over 8 years from 2006 to 2008 included a new building at the rear of the college providing a café and library for students, refurbishment to provide four new specialist classrooms, internal accessibility to Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) standards including two new lifts, improved integration of learning support and energy-efficient boilers.
2008 By 2008, the college was judged Outstanding for leadership and management, with strengths identified in
governors’ expertise, their experience of local and national contexts, the challenge and support they offered managers, the quality of their contribution to the strategic review of the college, their overview of quality and standards. The college was financially strong. Management strengths were in continued raising of standards, organisational change, expansion of provision and improvement of accommodation. The use of Management Information System (MIS), the knowledge of the local community, managers’ understanding of wider educational environment, and their response to government initiatives, social inclusion and partnerships were also very strong. The accessibility of senior managers, the quality of communications and the inclusion of students in meetings were strengths. Curriculum management was Good across curriculum areas and Outstanding in ESOL. The focus on college priorities had been particularly effective since curriculum managers had been appointed in 2007, together with senior management appointments for enterprise, partnerships and community engagement. Quality assurance was comprehensive, good and continually improving. Between 2010 and 2013, the governors reviewed the college mission and strategy and agreed to maintain its broad thrust. The new Chair of Governors, Tom Schuller gained the consent of the board to reduce its size, gradually achieving a better mix of age, gender and ethnicity, making the board less unwieldy and meetings more focused. Strategy away days are used successfully for planning. Governors are extremely active, know the college well, attend courses as students, and strongly support all celebrations and events. The second stage of building works totalling £2.1m between 2010 and 2012 created access to all 19 levels by lift or ramp, new basement rooms and the levelling of floors, a new main entrance with proper disabled access and a redesigned reception area, new roof space offices for staff, and two classrooms formerly used as staff workrooms refurbished and returned to teaching. The new facilities fully addressed issues raised by learners, including the lack of integration between reception and student services, the complexity of the building, the lack of circulation space in the reception area and the access difficulties faced by disabled people.
2013 In 2013 the college was again graded Outstanding for leadership and management with governors and
senior managers having a clear strategic plan informed by high expectations and challenging targets. Strengths were in governors’ thorough understanding of all aspects of the college’s work, their use of specialist expertise to support and challenge progress against the strategic plan, the self assessment report and quality improvement plan, diligent financial management and full involvement in developing resources and the infrastructure. Additional strengths in management were the use of data, the relationship with governors, the use of partnerships, quality improvement, learners’ voice, curriculum management, promotion of equality and diversity, and safeguarding. No areas for improvement were identified.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 6
Community engagement and outreach provision 1996
In 1996, the college offered only 100 part time courses weekly mostly for 2 hours in the evening. There were few progression opportunities. Arts, humanities, and social sciences accredited provision offered only A levels. Other course levels were not clarified in course information. Basic education provision was small and there were no targeted courses for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The programme was reducing, enrolment was low and 20% of courses closed before they started in 95/96 despite targets set for growth in schedule 2 provision. In 94/5 the college output was 10% below target. There was no curriculum planning or research to establish what was needed locally. Teachers merely suggested courses they wanted to teach and there were few new courses annually. The prospectus was inadequate and advertising of enrolment arrangements poor. No provision was targeted at black and minority ethnic groups. 17 A levels were offered but only 8 GCSEs, leading to inappropriate enrolment on A levels by many learners. There was no community outreach programme although some cooperative links existed with community groups. The governors of the college made an extremely important move to refocus the college mission by their appointment of Satnam Gill, a member of the Camden community and former Vice Principal of a sixth form college, as Principal in 1999. The new mission of the college was to provide educational opportunities for adults who could not study full time, particularly those who had missed out on their initial education. The governors and principal quickly instigated a programme of community engagement to establish where local demand lay and made strategic use of Camdenâ€™s central umbrella organisation for 150 local organisations by providing office space at WMC, which also gave the college staff excellent access to sources of outreach workers for setting up provision in the community.
The 2001 inspection report noted improved links with community partners, greater responsiveness and accessibility, and the appointment of a community learning coordinator. In the summer of 2003, detailed employer engagement targets had been set for programme areas but without a strong enough infrastructure to ensure their success.
The 2004 inspection found strengths in good partnerships to widen participation, with 25 local learning centres established with partners and well used by targeted under-represented groups. Progression routes into the main college were being created. The inspection identified a weakness in restricted employer links. Early in its renewal, the college had developed a policy of building a vocational curriculum at L1 and L2 focused on areas of interest to many learners from minority ethnic backgrounds and speakers of other languages. Routes to employment such as care, childcare and supporting teaching and learning in schools were developed. A curriculum team leader for ESOL outreach was appointed in 2005 and increased the volume of the ESOL outreach programme from 10 to 28 venues. In 2007/8 a whole college approach was devised to ensure that individual needs relating to language, literacy and numeracy were identified and met. More progression routes were designed. A programme of continuous improvement in teaching and learning and achievement of skills for life in discrete courses and across the curriculum included the quality of Individual Lesson Plans (ILPs) and lesson plans, ensuring access to and use of IT, increased rigour of lesson observations and implementation of resulting action plans, screening and prompt referral of dyslexic learners and monitoring and improving punctuality.
â€œMy course at WMC has helped me become a lot more confident in my daily life and with my communication skills. My teacher had a brilliant way of teaching English and she motivated me to study. My employer has now offered me a training place as a chef. This is purely because my English has improvedâ€?. English student
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 7
By 2008 the college was judged Outstanding for its strengths in community engagement, development of employment skills, recruitment from deprived communities, planning learning to meet community needs particularly vocational programmes at level 1 and language, literacy and numeracy skills. Strengths in staff expertise at working with disadvantaged cohorts and at meeting employer needs were also recognised. The level 1 and 2 vocational programme grew substantially between 2008 and 2013 supported by the appointment in 2011 of a new Head Of Vocational & Foundation Learning, Tighe Twomey; it increased the use of volunteering as a route into work and developed the progressive integration of speaking, reading and writing skills into these vocational programmes, adding additional support workshop provision to in-class support to ensure learnersâ€™ success. The college responded quickly to a series of national initiatives from 2008 onwards to help people back into work including Response to Redundancy, Personal Best and Skills for Jobs. The college focused mostly on employment areas with good prospects for work, particularly the security industry, and employed staff with excellent specialist employment links to run programmes. These more specialist programmes were very successful until funding came to a halt. More generalised employability/return to work courses were less effective. In 2009/10, WMC started building a more extensive network of contact with community organisations involved in disability and mental health support. In 2010, the college created a successful partnership to mentor and develop trainee numeracy teachers from the Institute of Education and Greenwich University by offering work placements and specialist support. WMC now has well-established partnerships with a very large number of primary schools, childcare providers and nurseries to create voluntary placements for learners on vocational courses, particularly training courses for teaching assistants. Other partnerships include those with schools for administration apprenticeships and literacy and numeracy courses, libraries and housing associations for IT, the health authority for administration apprenticeships, Camden council for vocational tasters, a homelessness charity for independent living skills, and a very large number of locations for ESOL. Some community based courses have now finished as learners have moved on into college or work but the college still has approaching 50 partners.
In 2013, WMC was again judged outstanding for its excellent partnership arrangements. In particular inspectors recognised the use of partnerships to jointly run events where learners are able to acquire useful information, advice and guidance on progression and employment including volunteering and selfemployment opportunities.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 8
Meeting the English needs of migrants and refugees in the local community 1996
At the time of the 1996 inspection, the college offered no ESOL programmes either on the main site or in the community. In 2000 the college started to deliver ESOL, initially taking over the small programme previously run on the site by Kingsway College. 2001 saw the start of expansion of ESOL programme.
The 2001 inspection judged ESOL Satisfactory, grade 3. Strengths were in schemes of work, teaching and curriculum management improvements. Also noted were growth of provision, initial assessment, daytime intensive courses to meet student demand, workshops, the piloting of individual learning plans and weekly progress reviews, the National Open College Network (NOCN) accreditation, integration of IT, new appointments, teachers’ involvement in course reviews and self-assessment. Other positive elements were extended time on evening provision, the beginnings of summer and language support activities and responses to students’ feedback about poor accommodation. Weaknesses included diagnostic assessment, meeting individual learning needs, attendance, progress monitoring and recognition of achievements, destination data, lesson outcomes and independent learning opportunities. During 2002/03 and 2003/04, ESOL provision more than doubled to 399 courses including many in community locations and some workplace delivery. Courses ranged from entry 1 to level 2, with the majority of learners at the earlier levels of the curriculum. Approximately a fifth of 2003/04 learners gained external accreditation. To maintain the rapid expansion whilst also ensuring improvements in quality an ESOL Programmme Head, Kanwal Pattar was appointed in 2003.
By the 2004 inspection, foundation programmes (largely ESOL) were graded Good, grade 2. Strengths were in development of skills and independence; widening participation including targeted courses for men, women, refugees and asylum seekers, health sector workers and voluntary sector staff; personal support for learners from outreach staff in community venues; curriculum leadership and management including raised staff morale, team work and communications, support for the college strategy and clear staff roles; and quality improvement arrangements via course reviews, team evaluations, appraisal and the accuracy of the Self Assessment Report (SAR). Weaknesses included insufficient attention to some learners’ individual needs and inconsistent monitoring of learners’ progress. Only just over half of lessons observed were judged good or very good. Resources, accommodation and learning materials were only satisfactory. A new post of Assistant Director for Skills for Life was created in 2004 to reflect the increasing importance of this area of work. Kanwal Pattar was promoted to this post with overall responsibility for strategic leadership and operational management. Initiatives led by the Assistant Director for Skills for Life included ESOL for Imams and Committee Members, and ESOL for Work qualifications. A Curriculum Team Leader (CTL) for ESOL outreach, Panchali Kar, was appointed in 2005 and became Curriculum Manager for ESOL outreach in 2008. The process of growing outreach community venues involved becoming familiar with the main community partnerships in the area, creating good links and appointing 2 outreach workers to set up ESOL provision in all centres. The CTL was responsible for outreach provision data, Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA) and the line management of outreach teachers, their lesson observations, appraisals and SAR contributions. Outreach provision started with approximately 100 learners, rose to 800 and has now dropped to 600 as learners move into other provision. Successful outcomes of outreach provision were and are progression into college or self-employment. The college ran special projects for pre-entry ESOL under a Local Area Agreement Project with Camden for recently arrived refugees and spouses, using its good partnerships with community organisations to recruit and teach approximately 300 learners over 3 years. Further curriculum team leaders were appointed as the area grew, and in 2007 when the cross college curriculum management restructure took place there was a team of 4 ESOL curriculum managers with specified responsibilities. In 2007/8 the department embedded the delivery, assessment and moderation of portfolio based ESOL external accreditation; increased the number of students taking and passing accreditation; further developed differentiation strategies; improved lesson planning to fully incorporate assessment information and individual targets; developed students’ employability skills; increased employer engagement through direct delivery and Train To Gain (TTG) embedded delivery; embedded e-learning and the use of Information, Learning and Technology (ILT); and maintained the strong management of the area.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 9
In 2008 inspectors judged ESOL to be Outstanding, grade 1. Strengths were in success rates, development of language skills, teaching and learning, engagement with the community, induction and leadership and management. No areas for improvement were identified. A Senior Curriculum Manager, James Cupper, was appointed in 2009 to assist the Head of ESOL, as one year after the 2008 inspection, 3 out of the 4 ESOL curriculum managers had left the college. The new member of staff became Departmental Head in 2011 on the promotion of the previous Head and restructured the department to bring the team together. Procedures were simplified and standardised leading to consistency for staff and improved recording of learners’ progress towards their ILP targets. Financial measures included managing reducing funding from 1.4 per unit to 1.0 over 2 years, together with a frozen Skills Funding Agency allocation. Class sizes rose to upwards of 16 with a maximum of 24, teachers’ class contact hours increased from 850 to 900 annually, all permanent appointments were frozen, and vacancies caused by resignations were filled with more recently qualified hourly paid staff with flexibility, adaptability and enthusiasm. 5 staff from Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, subcontracted by WMC in 2012, were effectively integrated with the same conditions of service as WMC staff. Retention was now generally high. Where pockets of lower retention existed, they were dramatically improved. The range of options to measure achievement increased with a move away from accreditation at the start of courses to its introduction in term 2 only if suited to learners’ abilities and aspirations. Where non-accredited RARPA was chosen, ILPs were genuinely individual and had really measurable targets. Learners’ achievements against these targets were moderated rigorously in standardisation group meetings by the college RARPA champion with reports sent to the Deputy Principal. Attendance had been low when the senior curriculum manager was appointed. It was raised by setting much higher targets for staff, improved recording of attendance, the introduction of measures on digital registers that allowed teachers themselves to see clearly where attendance was low, reports from MIS to the curriculum manager on individual tutors’ class attendances, the issue to teachers of an attendance strategy flowchart, standardised ringing of absent learners, templates of final warning letters to learners and the banning of repeatedly low attending learners from re-enrolling the following year. The quality of lessons improved with more stimulating, topic based lessons, more focus on employability and greater concentration on learners’ activity by more work in pairs and small groups. Teacher spoke less themselves in class and more often took a monitoring role in very well-planned lessons, encouraging learners to use peer checking and support. Equality and diversity was well embedded across all lessons. WMC was the only London College to be invited to join Lloyds Financial Project in 2010 to develop financial literacy with ESOL learners. The materials and resources developed for that project are now in use in mainstream ESOL provision.
In 2013, the ESOL provision maintained its outstanding quality with a grade 1. Strengths were in very good outcomes for learners, their motivation, pride in their substantial achievements and eagerness to improve. Learners made excellent and sustained progress in lessons, and increased their confidence and self-esteem greatly. Progress from basic ESOL to qualifications in other subject areas and then to higher level qualifications was good. Care and support for learners were outstanding and highly appreciated. Stimulating interactive activities ensured full learner participation and effective practice of speaking and learning skills. Learners enjoyed challenging tasks and used a variety of ICT well. Systematic correction of errors, much practice of intonation patterns, imaginative teaching and learning strategies such as research on local politicians before planning questions for role-play in an entry level lesson, were all extremely good. Assessment was comprehensive and robust. The promotion of equality and diversity in learning was outstanding.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 10
Promoting equality and diversity 1996 The 1996 inspection found the equal opportunity statement had not been not revised since 1987,
implementation of equalities was inadequate, there was little analysis of the data collected on ethnicity, reduced fees were still 50% of the full fees and only available to students on benefit. The numbers of unemployed or benefits recipients over last few years had declined. Students were happy with the college but no systems were in place for students knowing their rights and responsibilities. In 2000, an ethnicity questionnaire was issued and its outcomes reported to the governors annually. An equalities policy was produced in 2001.
2001 The 2001 inspection noted a strength in the then recent designation of 2 prayer rooms for 2 hours daily
and a weakness in equalities generally being seen by the college as widening participation, rather than the promotion of equal opportunity and full implementation of the policy. In 2002, a Head of Student Services, Sandra Palmer, was appointed with a specific responsibility for Equal Opportunities. Equalities training for staff was held. In autumn 2003, student ethnicity data already reflected the local population much more closely than some other specialist designated institutions. 2002/3 fees for literacy, numeracy and ESOL learners were remitted in full and registration fees of £10 only were charged for other students on benefit. By 2003/4, 82% of students were from disadvantaged postcodes, two thirds had remitted fees and the number of people on unemployment benefit was double that in neighbouring boroughs. Almost half the taught hours were devoted to ESOL, literacy and numeracy, with IT accounting for a further 22%. Over a third of all taught hours were at entry level. Students were benefiting from clear progression routes.
2004 In the 2004 inspection, equalities were graded Outstanding and judged particularly good in counselling and
ESOL. Staff induction in equality of opportunity was very good. Policy documents and the complaints procedure were available in 5 local languages. There was strong encouragement to students to become involved in decision making bodies and a good match of staff and student ethnicity profiles. Adaptations to the building had created access to rooms for disabled students. The cultural richness that students brought was valued by staff. Equal opportunity data were used well to refocus the curriculum on the local community. Student support was excellent for all learners, and included resources for learners with visual impairments, signers, dyslexia support, financial advice and study buddies for students new to learning. The college offered training for volunteers to work in the community supporting older people with healthcare and employed community outreach workers for advice and guidance outside the college. In 2007, the college started the equality and student involvement steering group. The first Diversity Day was introduced, in which students set up stalls to showcase their individual cultures, with food, music, clothes and decorations. Students’ active participation was greatly increased by a small financial fund to help with necessary costs. The learning involved directly influenced the curriculum with ESOL students completing questionnaires on each culture represented and writing up their findings. By developing inclusion, the project made a strong contribution to promoting equalities. By 2008, there was one major event each term, starting with World Aids Day, which launched the Calendar for Inclusion. In 2008, the college launched its Single Equality Scheme and Student Involvement Strategy to promote equality and diversity and ensure that students’ voices had an impact on curriculum planning and quality improvement
“Studying at WMC has opened my eyes and mind about life in general and has helped me understand people from different backgrounds and cultures”. English student
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 11
The 2008 inspection again graded equality and diversity as grade 1, Outstanding. In addition to strengths seen previously, inspectors noted a well-developed sense of personal safety and of being valued and respected among students. An equality and learner involvement steering group had been set up. Managers regularly undertook a thorough analysis of equality and diversity data. Staff development and training was good and an understanding of equalities was promoted well through the curriculum. An area for improvement was in the Skills for Life strategy which was only satisfactory. Between 2009 and 2013, the Calendar for Inclusion, Diversity and Success developed and grew. International Womenâ€™s Day became an annual event with a competition without rules, involving presentations, performances and all art forms, with exhibitions and celebrations. Along with Diversity Day and Success Night, it has become the biggest annual celebration in the college, while smaller events celebrate Christmas and Eid, Hindu festivals, Black History month (now running from September to December each year) and many others. Although inspections have reported outcomes for learners as broadly similar across age, ethnicity and gender, the college has over the past decade tackled smaller achievement gaps in order to be absolutely certain that no unintentional differences were allowed to become entrenched. Actions taken include raising confidence and aspirations of Black African students with morning social meetings run by a female Nigerian and a male Somali leader, targeting Additional Learning Support (ALS) for people of dual ethnicity heritage who were doing less well locally than nationally, appointing Sylheti speakers to provide support for Bangladeshi women and running Bangla coffee mornings to encourage them to attempt exams. In 2012, learners aged 18 to 24 were doing less well than their older peers, so the college employed a new cohort of much younger staff as learning support assistants. Fifteen different languages are spoken by student service staff and ensure that new learners feel welcome in college. In 2009/10, the disability profile of the college was registering only 6% of students and no staff. The service established contact with every local disability support organisation, mental health support groups and the NHS to contribute to a college Disability Awareness day. Groups ran information stalls giving advice to college staff and students and enjoyed the networking opportunity. These groups also now offer free staff training events on specific disabilities. The day has become an annual event and produced much higher declaration rates â€“ by 2013, this had risen to 18% of students and over 9% of staff. The promotion of equality and diversity through the curriculum is very strong in all curriculum areas. In VPA, for example, as a result of much broader curriculum design in fashion, the percentage of male students, dual ethnicity and black and Asian students has risen very substantially; success rates are 92% and there are no achievement gaps. By looking carefully at wherever equality and diversity can enrich learning and understanding, course content, materials, project briefs and examples are from a rich diversity of cultural sources in ESOL, childcare and teaching, and numeracy and literacy as well as in VPA.
The 2013 inspection again graded equality and diversity Outstanding, grade 1. The promotion of equality and diversity across the college was Outstanding. The college had a very inclusive and stimulating ethos which promoted the understanding of cultural diversity and social inclusion extremely well.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 12
Re-inventing the Arts curriculum 1996 In 1996, visual and performing arts were graded 3, Satisfactory. Strengths were in the enthusiasm and
commitment of staff, their specialist expertise and professional practice, some students’ work, encouragement to experiment with a wide range of media and some students’ achievement of their potential. Weaknesses were in some slow or undemanding lessons, poor project briefs, insufficient checks on progress, poorly equipped general areas and old and shabby equipment. From 1996 to 1998 the Arts programme consisted of full year non-accredited courses which students could join at any time. Provision included a range of painting and drawing titles, etching and printmaking, photography and sculpture. In September 1998 some staging was initiated with introductory courses in printmaking and painting, and in 2001 an attempt was made to move to a fully staged curriculum offer in all the main visual arts subjects.
2001 In 2001, the provision was again graded 3. Strengths were in the range of subjects, the quality of teaching,
checking of learning, professional input, the quality of students’ work and achievements on accredited courses. Further strengths were reported in increasing numbers of students from black and minority ethnic groups, improved new management and staffing arrangements, improved communications between full and part-time staff, and the beginnings of systems for non-accredited assessment. Weaknesses were in assessment and formal recognition of achievements on non-accredited courses, and inaccessibility of some specialist accommodation and equipment to students with mobility problems. Also weak were unclear course levels, starting points of learners not established, unsatisfactory tutorials on non-accredited courses, course reviews not completed, insufficient critical feedback on learners’ work, very variable retention, attendance and punctuality, and teachers’ reliance on themselves to provide essential resources and equipment. In September 2001 an Access to Art and Design programme was launched. This reached out to a new group of students looking for progression and brought in staff with expertise in assessment and accreditation. Apart from the Access provision, courses ran for 10 or 12 weeks; this facilitated improvements in class size and retention, and enabled an overall reduction in the volume of the taught short course programme while maintaining stability in student numbers. By the end of 2003, the slow rate of growth of the arts programme compared with the rapid expansion in ESOL had produced an unintended and unacceptable VPA subsidy by ESOL. VPA managers were instructed to increase room utilisation and substantially grow the programme and student body. Managers worked on improving teaching, learning and assessment, and the Access programme recruited increasing numbers with a strengthening reputation of good progression to Higher Education. Accreditation was introduced across the curriculum to respond to national priorities but this was not always well received by learners. On some non-accredited provision lack of progress by learners continued to be an issue. Accommodation remained poor.
2004 The 2004 inspection awarded grade 2, Good. Strengths were in well-developed craft skills and techniques,
retention and pass rates on full time Access to Higher Education (HE), feedback on how to improve in lessons, and curriculum leadership. Also progression to HE from Access courses, support for Access learners, the range of programmes and music technology resources. Weaknesses were in accommodation and equipment for visual arts, assessment in non-accredited courses with too little critical feedback from staff, and some staff resistance to completion of records. Access to literacy, numeracy or language support was only satisfactory. Following the 2004 inspection, the department extended assessment, monitoring and moderation to all courses; clarified the progression structure with teachers and learners; improved advice and guidance by appointing fractional specialist lead tutors; developed curriculum management by introducing new specialist area teams and team leaders; completed the refurbishment of accommodation and resources for specialist areas; took over the former Camden funded Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL) arts programme at Holmes Road; established the Foundation Degree in Professional Practice in Art and Design with Middlesex University and the Access to HE Music course, improved lesson observation processes and introduced more whole-class teaching and learning to complement individual approaches.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 13
In 2008 the provision was again graded 2. Strengths were in success rates – very high on accredited programmes, high on non-accredited – and progression, attainment of technical skills and standards of creative work, teaching and learning including advice and support for learners in class and verbal feedback, enrichment and professional expertise of tutors, curriculum management including changes to the curriculum, support for staff, inclusion in quality improvement processes, the lesson observation scheme and equality and diversity. Areas for improvement were in target setting for learners, recording of learning, sharing of good practice, and some merely satisfactory accommodation and resources. The implementation of the accommodation strategy facilitated improvement and refurbishment of all of the specialist Art rooms, and in 2007 a Technician Supervisor, Tracy Bowyer, was appointed to oversee the work of the technician team ensuring good studio practice and a focus on health and safety. The current Head of Department, Susie Wright, was appointed in January 2011 to provide strong curriculum leadership and to develop and grow the area. The new strategy was to create an inclusive curriculum with vocational elements and a breadth and appeal which has greatly diversified the student cohort. The department set about building a brand and identity with a contemporary narrative around the history of the college linking to its original mission. Curriculum development was explicitly linked to the themes in the common inspection framework. Four Arts curriculum managers, all outstanding practitioners with different specialisms and skill sets, enabled the growth of collaborative expertise in the department. Successful mentoring strategies for their management roles included credit for all successful new ventures, joint interviews with the Head of Department to recruit new kinds of staff and diversify the staff profile, support for the creation of attractive new short courses to bring in a greater variety of new learners, the production of sub-SARs for each curriculum area, the development of managers’ skills in analysing their own data, the allocation of specific rooms to each manager with responsibility for monitoring room use and quality, and support from the head of department for ensuring learners’ respectful use of accommodation. Significant improvements to quality processes were supported by the use of two very experienced art consultants. Managers collected information on distance travelled in level 3 courses and stories about student engagement and employment and instigated an archive including practice by alumni. Better communications with student services around individual needs led to successful improvement strategies and outcomes for learners. Successful curriculum strategies producing substantial growth include the introduction of Fashion Foundation to move the curriculum further towards vocational learning, employment and progression to HE; introducing many new short courses, relocation of courses to different departments to ensure underused rooms were fully programmed and widening the range of specialisms. Outcomes for learners developed to include many celebrations of achievement, exhibitions, displays and catwalks. End of year shows became team events with everything showcased, live project briefs transforming the college, talking walls and the opportunity for students to sell art work. Very good partnerships with universities have been developed and aid both recruitment and progression.
The inspection of 2013 graded the provision Outstanding, grade 1. Strengths were in very high achievement and success rates, good skills development, the excellent quality of creative work in ceramics and fashion, the display of outstanding visual art work throughout the premises, learners’ pride in their work and enthusiasm about their achievements. Areas for improvement included inconsistent assessment of progress in a minority of non-accredited programmes and poor punctuality in some courses.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 14
Advice, guidance and learning support 1996
The 1996 inspection graded guidance and support as Satisfactory, grade 3, which seems generous by today’s inspection standards. Strengths were in flexible enrolment arrangements, the ability to change levels after the start of courses and pre-entry initial assessment of basic education students. Weaknesses included insufficient pre-course guidance, variable course outlines, tutors’ advice to learners, weak induction and enrolment forms without space to identify support needs. The college had no central record of support needs and no specialist staff such as for dyslexia support. There was no initial assessment of students’ skills in language and numeracy pre-entry and no recording of progress and achievement. Advice on entry to HE was inconsistent. There was no access to counselling and no crèche provision. In 2001, support for students was again graded 3. Strengths were in pre-course advice and guidance, support for speakers of other languages, and the range and accessibility of services. The service had increased the number and linguistic range of its staffing. Weaknesses were in the insufficiently self-critical SAR, tutorials, initial screening for support needs on some schedule 2 courses, detailed record keeping, termly enrolment and some induction arrangements. The college had no group support provision and the integration of support work with class work needed developing. Information about and take up of disability support was unsatisfactory. A Head of Student Services, Sandra Palmer, was appointed in 2002 and immediately set up the Centre for Student Affairs, which aimed to be a one stop shop for all student queries. Later in 2002 the college appointed a full time Coordinator for Additional Learning Support (ALS), Irina Staneva, to add to the two part-time counsellors. That year started with 26 students receiving support but demand grew quickly to 60. The MIDAS recording system was introduced for additional learning support. Student complaints were reported in detail to governors, quickly addressed and generally resolved. By 2004 there were 3 fractional Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) mainly working in the IT area. A dyslexia specialist was appointed for 2 days weekly but offered 1:1 appointments only to a very small number of students. Record keeping was developed to meet funding and quality requirements, audit trails were set up and induction visits to classes started.
The inspection of 2004 did not grade the service separately but strengths noted included support for the wider personal needs of learners through the centre for student affairs, clear and accessible course information, pre-course specialist advice in a range of languages, induction arrangements, specialist equipment for learners with disabilities, and some useful career advice. Support for literacy, numeracy and language skills was only satisfactory. In 2007, the service implemented e-registers, improving monitoring of attendance, developed the Student Services section on the college website and further improved customer care. A year later, it achieved Matrix accreditation for Information and Guidance Services (IAG), publicised ALS to all students, raised awareness amongst staff and launched the Single Equality Scheme.
“The tutors on the course were very good and encouraging. I received the help of the support assistant in some classes and I would not have achieved my goal without it. I am now better organised and I can even help my colleagues at work”. Business Administration Level 2 student
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 15
The 2008 inspection again did not grade the service separately but noted under Key Strengths of the College “particularly effective support from all staff and good advice and guidance”. Evaluating quality of provision they found that initial advice and guidance was good, the Student Services team worked effectively in promoting clear and attractive course information, a good range of Additional Learning Support, was offered and take up of ALS had more than doubled in the last three years. ALS assistants worked well with tutors in planning and delivering effective support and success rates for learners receiving ALS showed they achieve well. Learners received good support to prepare for job applications and interviews. However, student support staff saw that there was still much room for improvement. Most support was delivered 1:1 with in-class support chiefly for students with mental health conditions. Support staff were in need of more training and development and improved communication both as a team and with other colleagues. In 2009, the original coordinator, Irina Staneva, who had moved to a teaching and then an ESOL management role, returned as Head of Student Services including additional learning support and student involvement. The service aimed to ensure that learning support needs of students were identified early and met in the most efficient and effective way possible. A thorough professionalisation of the LSA role took place and significant improvements were made. LSAs attended training events in dyslexia and mental health awareness, were invited to cross college CPD days, involved in reviews of systems and materials, made contributions to the SAR, took part in discussions about the quality of their work, received supervisions and appraisals and were trained in interviewing students. These changes produced a substantial growth in numbers receiving ALS. Students felt more confident about taking up support as a result of recognising LSA staff who by then had a much higher profile. The response to requests for ALS was much quicker since screening was now taking place in class for vocational and Access courses. Group support was introduced and reports of learners’ progress were supplied to teachers. Training in safeguarding for all ALS staff raised awareness and allowed students to disclose more confidently and more frequently.
The 2013 inspection judged care and support for learners, including all aspects of study, pastoral care and financial support, as Outstanding, grade 1. Adapted resources were available for those learners who needed them as well as childcare facilities at outreach locations. Information, advice and guidance were Outstanding and were provided by qualified and experienced education career guidance workers in all centres.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 16
Student involvement Throughout the college’s history students had been encouraged to take an active part in college life but it was not until 2007 that was also taken up as a national initiative for FE. Sandra Palmer, who was then responsible for equality, diversity and student involvement attended an LSIS training programme on involving students and designed a student voice strategy to engage students and support them to become effective. This was the start of a strategic, coordinated and highly successful project to involve students in college life.
Learner voice/student involvement was not evaluated by Ofsted in the 2008 inspection, but under leadership and management they commented on committed and highly visible senior managers, managers being easily accessible to learners, and that learners were included well in many college meetings. The college recruited students who had volunteered to talk with inspectors in 2008 and were interested in taking a more active role as student representatives to apply for this voluntary role, which had a clear job description, interviews held with the involvement of the principal and proper line management and supervision. Representatives could claim termly expenses for the travel and administrative costs incurred, which made the job accessible to people on very low incomes. Student representatives have tended to be students who have been at the college for some time or who are on substantial programmes. They had the greatest investment in it and appreciated a clearly defined role to develop their skills as representatives. In 2009, the Learning Skills and Improvement Service (LSIS) produced a very well-designed on-line training course to develop representatives’ listening skills, which the college has used ever since. Safeguarding training for representatives has been run jointly with City Lit and Camden Adult and Community Learning. WMC student representatives cover particular curriculum areas, geographical areas or attendance cohorts; their main responsibility is to gather student views by carrying out research and consultation – such as around student punctuality – to contribute to the student newsletter, and to help organise and promote events and activities. Representatives were influential in extending the number of equality and diversity college events and in maintaining the Outstanding judgement of the 2008 inspection in 2013. Through their own community links, they contacted contributors to enrich the programme of events. They also involved the student body in a NIACE petition to retain adult education. Outcomes for people of taking on the role are excellent: all representatives have improved their communication skills, confidence and self organisation. Many have found work, some have gone to university and several are leading informal learning clubs within the college. Their work for the college is celebrated on Success Night alongside that of other students.
In the 2013 inspection, it was found that learners had excellent and wide ranging mechanisms for providing their views, which managers took very seriously. Highly effective student governors and class representatives influenced significantly the college’s decision making. The principal fostered an ethos where learners’ views were valued by maintaining a highly visibility within the college and routinely engaging learners in conversation.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 17
Improving teaching, learning and assessment 1996
In the 1996 inspection, there was some good teaching in most subjects, with good relationships between teachers and students. Weaknesses included inadequate course plans and outlines, vague course objectives, insufficient variety of activities, over-reliance on printed material and little small group work. Teachers made too few checks on progress in lessons. Teachers had no guidance on assessing progress; the use of learning outcomes was only just beginning. There were insufficient accreditation opportunities in Basic Education and inadequate recording of progress. The college undertook no analysis of success rates and made no use of national averages to judge how well it was doing. Retention was poor but retention rates were not collated at whole college level. Attendance was low. The standard of equipment was poor. Teachers, though often well qualified in their specialisms, mostly lacked teaching qualifications. The management of laboratory spaces was ineffective and student support in these areas was unsatisfactory. In 2001 a new post of Deputy Principal was created and Paula Whittle was appointed with a brief to build and develop a more appropriate curriculum and improve quality. She immediately began to appoint salaried teaching staff with suitable teaching qualifications and experience as well as subject specialist expertise.
By the 2001 inspection, following a policy decision to appoint salaried staff wherever possible, full time and fractional posts totalled 52 FTE, although many courses were still taught by sessional teachers. In inspectors’ observations of 45 lessons, 47% were judged to be good or better compared to a national average of 62%. Some 11% of lessons were found to be unsatisfactory compared to a national average of 6%. Following the inspection a curriculum management structure was put in place, with Programme Heads for Skills for Life, Computing and Arts and Community. Each Head also had a Deputy and this team of six worked with the Deputy Principal to improve the quality of teaching and learning, to explore further curriculum development, particularly in consultation with the local community and to introduce accreditation where appropriate. A Head of Student Services was also appointed and she instituted learning support as well as devising and implementing systems and policies for equality and diversity, student behaviour and student voice.
In the 2004 inspection, 56% of lessons were judged to be good or better while 6% remained unsatisfactory and teaching and learning were described as “good in all areas of learning” in the report. Strengths included well qualified and experienced staff, a wide range of teaching methods and activities to engage and stimulate learners, and good resources. Informal monitoring of learners’ progress was good but learners’ progress on accredited learning on ESOL, ICT and visual and performing arts was not sufficiently monitored. Assessment goals and targets were not all clear enough. Some accommodation was unsatisfactory. The new Deputy Principal, Theresa Hoenig, together with an Assistant Director for Quality, Ilgun Yusuf, were appointed in 2004/05 to plan a broad, responsive programme for 2005/6, build on existing good practice to increase the volume of accredited provision and review the management of the curriculum to ensure WMC’s strong capacity for improvement and capacity for innovation and enterprise. Measures taken involved fully embedding RARPA processes to ensure effective differentiation and constructive feedback to students; devising and implementing a new Skills for Life strategy with a whole college approach; launching a Tutors’ Handbook and fully implementing induction and support processes for new academic staff; ensuring that all tutors could access MIS, use data about their courses and were fully engaged with quality processes; and devising an ILT strategy building on good practice in e-learning. Progress in teaching and learning in 2007/8 included the very positive impact of the new curriculum management team and accommodation improvements on the quality of teaching and learning; greater rigour in lesson observations supported by external paired observations; managers’ increased ability independently to make sound grading decisions and to monitor teachers’ action plans for improvement; improved use of ILT to enhance teaching, learning, assessment and self-directed study between sessions.
www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 18
The 2008 inspection judged teaching and learning good, with strengths in well qualified tutors, a high proportion of whom had teaching qualifications, in preparation and lesson management, and in meeting individual needs in practical activities. Assessment was good, with results of good initial assessment used appropriately. The college had made good progress in RARPA since the previous inspection. Many curriculum areas had developed imaginative ways to record learning. Most learners understood the progress they were making. The college’s commitment and expertise in teaching learners who would not normally participate in education or training added value to local partners. A very effective Observation of Teaching and Learning (OTL ) improvement strategy since 2008 involved joint lesson observations with WMC colleagues, with colleagues from other SDIs and with consultants. The college moved to annual observations for all staff and repeat OTLs within a short time for staff getting grade 3. Action points were identified, support was provided and informal class visits took place to check progress. The college used external consultants to check records of OTLs for accuracy of grade and judgements, for a focus on learning rather than teaching, to ensure coverage of assessment and to improve rigour to ensure strengths were more than normally expected practice. Examples of good practice in OTL reports were shared among managers. There has been a gradual development of understanding among staff that it is individual lessons not staff themselves that are the subject of grading, that there is no automatic progress from Good to Outstanding and that gradings have to encompass factors outside the teacher’s control that affect learning. Curriculum managers have welcomed the much more rigorous approach to OTLs since 2008, more focused on learning and progress during lessons. There is now a very supportive moderation process, which compares well with an earlier rather competitive atmosphere. Connections between OTLs and appraisals are stronger. Changes to the Common Inspection Framework in 2012 were immediately reflected with a change to 2 days’ notice of observation, leading to more realistic evaluation of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. At the 2013 inspection, the inspection team followed through the Quality Improvement process for supporting and developing struggling teachers and judged it to be very good. It includes peer observations, joint observations, observation by the failing teacher of grade 1 lessons and a written report about the differences between that person’s practice and the observed teacher’s own, as well as frequent informal visits by managers to help nervous teachers get used to being observed.
The 2013 inspection noted strengths in improvements to OTL, with staff development and training, mentoring and peer support linking to OTL outcomes and leading to improvements in teaching, learning and assessment. Tutors made very effective use of initial assessment to identify learners’ starting points and progress was monitored carefully to ensure that learners got the support they needed in order to achieve. Peer support was well developed.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 19
Ofsted inspection 2013 - The provider is Outstanding because: • The proportion of learners who achieve their qualifications is very high and has increased steadily over the last three years. Success rates are significantly above national averages for nearly all subjects. • Learners make outstanding progress. Most learners have very low starting points and many have significant barriers to learning and they achieve their qualifications and progress very well. • The standard of learners’ work is very high, with many outstanding examples on display throughout the college. The college celebrates the high standard of work through exhibitions and fashion shows. • Learners develop many additional skills, gaining confidence and enhancing their lives and their employability. Many learners report that their lives have changed significantly as a result of their college experience. • Teaching, learning and assessment are outstanding. Tutors have high expectations of all learners who are highly motivated and undertake further independent study and research. • Care and support for learners are outstanding, covering all aspects of study, pastoral care and financial support. Adapted resources are available for those learners who need them as well as childcare facilities. • Tutors make very effective use of initial assessment to identify learners’ starting points and progress is monitored carefully to ensure that learners get the support they need to achieve. Peer support is well developed. • Information, advice and guidance are outstanding and are provided by qualified and experienced education career guidance workers in all centres. The college has excellent partnership arrangements with local training providers and recruitment agencies. • Leadership and management are excellent. Governors and senior managers set a clear strategic plan with high expectations and challenging targets. • The promotion of equality and diversity across the college is outstanding. The college has a very inclusive and stimulating ethos which promotes the understanding of cultural diversity and social inclusion extremely well.
“Being at WMC was a boost to my self-esteem and it’s helped me believe in myself and my abilities again”. ICT student
19 www.wmcollege .ac .uk - 020 7255 4700
Summary of key findings for learners
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 20
Appendix 1: Research methodology
Research outline Aims To summarise the changes at WMC from mid 1990’s to 2013 To evaluate the impact of initiatives the college has taken To draw out lessons learned which may be useful to other organisations In particular to focus on the following themes as key to that journey: • • • • • • • •
Governance and management Community engagement and outreach provision Meeting the English needs of the many migrants and refugees in the local community Promoting equality and diversity Re-inventing the Arts curriculum Advice, guidance and learning support Student involvement Improving teaching, learning and assessment
Timescales Consultant engaged and briefed Material for desk research provided and interviews begun Interim report to LSIS Final research work produced by consultant Finalisation of report Report published on WMC website
21 June 2013 26 June 2013 18 July 2013 31 August 2013 15 October 2013 28 October 2013
Methodology WMC engaged Pippa Wainwright, a consultant who works on Ofsted inspections as an additional inspector. Pippa had already worked with WMC and had an overview of its recent quality improvement work. Her methodology included engaging in desk research analysing inspection reports, college Self Assessment Reports, quality improvement plans, reports to Governors and other key college documents from 1996 onwards. She carried out a range of in-depth interviews with key stakeholders including past and present governors, the principal and deputy principal, directors, heads of department and curriculum managers, to establish what actions were taken to address areas for improvement, how successful these were and any lessons that might be of use to other institutions.
Notes • Documentation in the early years after the 1996 inspection was not always complete. However, the more difficult part of the journey to Outstanding is the latter part – moving from Good to Outstanding overall and maintaining Outstanding grades in those parts of the college which achieved Outstanding before the college as a whole. The focus of this project is on more recent times when there is more detail of potential use to any institutions wanting to profit from WMC’s experience. • The findings have been written up for this report in the form of a chronological identification of areas for improvement from each inspection, under each of the themes identified by the college, followed by actions taken by the college to address these.
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 21
Appendix 2: Glossary of abbreviations used
Additional Learning Support
Continuing Professional Development
Disability Discrimination Act
Further Education Funding Council
Full time Equivalent
English for Speakers of Other Languages
Information and Communications Technology
Individual Lesson Plans
Information, Learning and Technology
Learning Support Assistants
Learning and Skills Improvement Service
MIDAS: System that collects data for personal and community development learning matrix: accreditation for Information, Advice and Guidance services MIS:
Management Information System
The National Open College Network
Observation of Teaching and Learning
RARPA: Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement SAR:
Self Assessment Report
Train To Gain
Personal and Community Development Learning
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
Specialist Designated Institution
Visual and Performance Arts
Working Men's College
WMC CONFERENCE REPORT D/G V5_WMC 17/10/2013 09:33 Page 1
Working Menâ€™s College was graded Outstanding Overall by Ofsted in 2013
The Camden College 44 Crowndale Road London NW1 1TR 020 7255 4700 Fax 020 7383 5561 email@example.com
Published on Mar 4, 2014
Published on Mar 4, 2014
This paper gives an excellent account of the college’s journey to its 2013 Outstanding grade, from a very different position 15 years ago. W...