Oaklands College

Name Oaklands College
Website http://www.oaklands.ac.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 24 April 2018
Address Oaklands Campus, Hatfield Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4 0JA
Phone Number 01727737080
Type General Further Education and Tertiary
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

Oaklands College is a large further education and skills provider situated in Hertfordshire. The college provides study programmes, apprenticeships, adult learning, and specialist programmes for learners who have high needs. There are around 5,150 learners and apprentices at the college. A very small number of learners aged 14 to 16 funded by schools or the local authority access day courses. The largest proportion of learners, just under two thirds, follow academic and vocational study programmes in a wide range of subjects. Around a fifth of learners are enrolled onto adult learning programmes both within the college and in subcontracted provision. There are currently around 820 apprentices, with most on frameworks and 70 on standards-based apprenticeships. The college attracts learners and apprentices from Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and a few London boroughs. Around half of learners on study programmes enrol with at least five GCSE qualifications grade 4 and above, including mathematics and English.

Summary of key findings

This is a provider that requires improvement Leaders and staff do not have high enough expectations of their learners. Too many learners aged 16 to 18 do not attend their lessons regularly and too many do not arrive promptly or well prepared to learn. Too many learners and apprentices do not have a good understanding of how to protect themselves from the threats related to radicalisation and extremism. Too many teachers do not teach lessons that provide sufficient challenge to learners and deepen their knowledge and understanding. Governors provide too little challenge of leaders because they do not have a robust enough understanding of the quality of the provision. Leaders do not use their performance management processes well enough to identify underperformance swiftly and tackle it. There is too much variability in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment on study programmes, particularly in English and mathematics, and too much is not good enough. Too many learners on study programmes do not achieve their qualifications and/or make the progress of which they are capable. The provider has the following strengths Leaders work exceptionally well with employers, agencies and other key stakeholders, such as the local authority, to plan and develop programmes for learners and apprentices that meet local priorities. Highly effective learning programmes for learners with high needs enable these learners to achieve their personal learning goals, improve their communication skills and make excellent progress towards becoming independent. Adult learners, particularly those who are unemployed, develop high-quality skills that improve their chances of gaining employment. Staff provide good-quality work experience opportunities to ensure that learners are well prepared to meet the demands of employment. Most learners and apprentices develop practical skills to a high standard. Fashion design learners are highly skilled at drafting their own patterns, motor vehicle learners strip and rebuild engines, and engineers repair airplane fuselage to exacting tolerances.