COLLEGE of West Anglia principal David Pomfret has reacted to what he called “disappointing” stinging criticism when it received an overall Ofsted grade of ‘requires improvement’.

In its report, Ofsted said the number of students completing their courses in 2015/16 was below the national average.

Ofsted inspectors said that too many teachers do not plan teaching and learning that meets the needs and abilities of the learners.

Inspectors visited the site in January, but only released their findings this week, in which it also awarded an “outstanding” rating for the college’s apprenticeships.

Mr Pomfret said: “However, although there are some clear indicators about where we need to do better, there are some very positive messages in the report and I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted has recognised the quality of our outstanding apprenticeship provision.

“At a time when the Government has prioritised growth in apprenticeships for young people and adults, this ‘outstanding’ rating underlines CWA’s position as the market leader in West Norfolk and Fenland.

“In terms of the areas identified for improvement, it is an ongoing challenge to ensure consistency of quality across an organisation of our size with such a diverse range of courses.”

The report added that teaching in performing arts and engineering was good, but warned that in other subjects students were not progressing as they should because teachers’ expectations were too low.

Mr Pomfret added: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring that all our learners are given the same opportunities to learn effectively and develop their skills to the levels seen by inspectors in some of our higher-performing curriculum areas.

“We are already taking steps to address the challenge of eradicating inconsistencies in the quality of teaching across the breadth of our curriculum and are developing a detailed action plan to help teachers support learners with the theory aspects of their course and to achieve better results in maths and English.

“I am confident that, with the support of our dedicated and talented staff team, we will deliver the improvements required and return CWA to a ‘good’ Ofsted grading at the earliest opportunity.”