Having been rated as Inadequate by Ofsted in January and then again in April, Lewisham and Southwark College have at last received some good news from the inspectorate. In their latest Learning and Skills Inspection, Ofsted has recognised a “reasonable” level of improvement for learners across five areas. Amongst the areas under review was the following:
Ensuring that the curriculum offered meets the needs of the college’s target group for recruitment and identifying the reasons behind the significant drop in learner numbers for 16-to-18-year-olds
Within this section, Ofsted made the following comment:
The last monitoring visit identified the need to carry out a full review of success rates to identify weak areas of the curriculum, and managers have now completed this successfully. The interim Principal engaged the help of consultants to carry out extensive research to determine whether the college was meeting the needs of the local economy and employers, and to understand better the potential to recruit learners from different boroughs where transport made this feasible. This included a match of potential learners’ aspirations with local job opportunities. This work has proved very valuable and has helped the college to arrive at a curriculum which is based on evidence and research. Both the content and the structure of the curriculum have been reviewed and improved.
The extensive research that they cited was a couple of consulting reports put together by EMSI earlier this year, one comparing the College’s curriculum with the labour market in a smallish geography (five boroughs), and the second comparing the curriculum with the labour market demands of a larger area (18 London boroughs). Both studies were aimed at establishing the level of course and curriculum alignment at the College with the labour market in these two geographies, focusing on how well the supply of learners (course completers) from the College matched up with demand for applicable occupations and careers.
By commissioning these reports, Lewisham and Southwark College have been given invaluable information to shape their strategic and curriculum planning, both in terms of their current course alignment, and in terms of the potential to develop new courses to meet the needs of the labour market. We are thrilled to hear that the College is beginning to see the fruits of its efforts to turn things around, and we are pleased to be playing a part in that transformation.
You can find out more about our consulting service by going to our website. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone about how we can give you the kind of in-depth analysis provided to Lewisham and Southwark, contact Anthony Horne (firstname.lastname@example.org)