Leeds College of Building “requires improvement” says Ofsted

Leeds College of Building, which has a campus in Hunslet, ‘Requires improvement’ according to an inspection report published by Ofsted yesterday (25 April 2024).

Inspectors criticised attendance, punctuality and students not being ready to learn when they arrived for lessons. They also want to see improvements in the “oversight of provision to gain assurance that students and apprentices are making good progress”; and to “ensure that managers follow up improvement actions identified through quality assurance activities and evaluate their impact.”

Personal development, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships were all judged to be ‘Good’, but the college was marked down on the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, and leadership and management.

In the report, Inspectors say:

“Leaders engage with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that their curriculum responds to local, regional and national skills needs within the construction and the built environment sector. They contribute to the green skills agenda in their curriculum planning, clearly considering the priorities and themes identified in the West Yorkshire local skills improvement plan, such as net zero transition, sustainability and digitisation.”

However they also criticise staff:

“Leaders and managers do not have effective enough oversight of how well apprentices are progressing. For example, they do not monitor well enough the progress of apprentices who need to achieve English and mathematics qualifications in order to proceed to their end-point assessment. Curriculum managers and heads of department do not have clear enough information about apprentices’ progress to allow for useful interventions which could improve apprentices’ chances of success.”

The College was last inspected in October 2019 when it was judged to be ‘Good’ overall.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Leeds College of Building said:

“We are disappointed with the latest Ofsted findings but remain committed to addressing any challenges that may have contributed to the outcome of our most recent Ofsted Inspection.

“Prior to the inspection, the College was implementing a Quality Improvement Plan to target any areas of identified weakness. Ofsted acknowledges there are already early indications of improvement as a result and noted we recently increased the size of our quality assurance team to action changes.

“Although the overall Ofsted judgement is discouraging, the report also highlights many areas of good practice, including personal development, adult learning programmes, and apprenticeships (over 2,700 apprentices train at the College and account for over 60% of the total student cohort).

“The College will build on the strengths highlighted in the report and continue to promote diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and green skills while expanding its higher education provision in the University Centre (a status acquired in 2023). Last year, Leeds College of Building received a silver rating from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – a national scheme for excellence by the Office for Students.

“The report recognises that the College has developed a curriculum which responds to skills needs in the area to ensure students are well-equipped for the jobs of the future. We will work diligently to ensure that Leeds College of Building remains a place where every student can thrive.”


You can read the full inspection report here.


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