More work needed on English and maths

Students learning to work in land-based sectors are gaining the skills and much of the important knowledge they need from specialist colleges, but some vital improvements are still needed, an Ofsted report has found.

The project leading to the report, Good Practice in Land-based Education & Training, was jointly undertaken by Ofsted and Landex, which has 36 member colleges.

Inspectors visited eight specialist land-based colleges (Askham Bryan, Duchy, Hadlow, Hartpury, Moulton, Plumpton, Reaseheath and Sparsholt) and identified good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.

The report found that the colleges have strong links with the land-based sector. These links are used well to improve students' education and increase their employment opportunities.

Teachers have wide land-based experience and considerable industrial credibility. They use the extensive and often high-quality resources available at the land-based colleges to help students to learn via a "coherent and broad curriculum".

While project-based assessment is considered "very effective", inspectors found that although teachers are beginning to emphasise the importance of developing students' English and mathematical skills, this is not sufficiently widespread.

Ofsted found that teachers do not always ensure classroom-based activities are "innovative, creative or demanding enough" to help students reach their full academic potential.


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